Retail website bounce rates – that is, the percentage of visitors who enter and leave the site without viewing other pages – are continuing to rise.
The reason, according to IMRG, is that consumers are becoming ever more demanding, both in terms of finding the right products and the experience the site provides.
Q1 of the 2012 IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Index saw bounce rates hit 27%, the highest recorded in the two years the index has been tracking this data. Throughout this period there has been a consistent increase, from 21% in Q1 2010 and rising to 23% in Q1 2011.
At the same time, sales through a mobile device (including tablets) have been rocketing. When the index was launched in Q1 2010, the percentage of sales via mobile devices was 0.4% of e-retail sales. In Q1 2012 this hit 8.2% – a growth rate of 2,000% over the two-year period.
Visits via a mobile device are currently double that of the sales figure, at 16.4% of total site visits in Q1 2012.
IMRG says that the increasing popularity of internet access through mobile devices is most likely having an effect on bounce rate because of the context in which the access may occur and because some sites may display more engagingly on a tablet than others.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “The competition and choice available to online shoppers has always provided a fundamental challenge for retailers, as a hard-to-please visitor can easily become disinterested at the initial contact with a brand.
“These figures show that consumers are becoming ever more demanding when finding the online experience that suits them. Retailers need to ensure that the site is as engaging as possible for their customer demographic, looking at usability, social elements and performance through key channels and browsers. For online consumers, it would appear that first impressions really matter.”