Adam T. Sutton

Abandoned Shopping Carts Signal Holes in Website

Higher cart abandonment and bounce rates may be a sign of the gloomier economic times for eretailers. Both rates are up, according to a new report from MarketLive, Inc., which compiled data from almost 100 eretailers.

Cart abandonment rates were 59.34% for Q1 2008 — a 2.68% increase from Q1 2007. Bounce rates, referred to as “1-and-outs” in the report, were 39.15% for Q1 2008, an 18.85% increase from Q1 2007.

The increase in abandons might be explained by the lackluster consumer confidence of late. People spend less when their wallets are lighter, and tacking on shipping charges at the end can send people running. (Running is easier with a lighter wallet.)

But what about the 18.85% increase in bounces? That one is harder to reason. Eretailers must be getting lower quality traffic than this time last year, but why? Are they buying cheaper advertising? Or are search engines sending poorer traffic?

One thing is certain: High bounce rates are caused by confusion between what users expect and what users get. A page that sells staplers and drives traffic with ads that say “great boat website” will have a high bounce rate.

High bounce rates point to the holes in a leaky website. You need to plug those holes if you’re going to weather the economic downturn. Find out who’s sending the bouncy traffic and fix the problem.

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  1. April 21st, 2009 at 15:09 | #1

    We are a Sherpa Affiliate doing a Checkout Experience Audit for a client with a too-high cart abandon rate. This article is insightful and provides great stats. Thanks.

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