Fashion and content

  • In the past year, 40 percent of YouTube users turned to the platform to learn more about a product before they bought it. – Google
  • 52 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them. – Salesforce
  • Within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, customers logged 23 percent more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends more so than those who used a single channel. – Harvard Business Review
  • In 2021, 53.9 percent of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via m-commerce (i.e., on mobile devices). – Statista

And when interacting with brands in between purchases, they’re looking to be inspired, entertained, and informed.

Fashion Content Marketing 2018: Top Trends + Leading Brands

Bouncerate

The Marketing Analytics Intersect

I hear that a lot. Bounce rate sucks. I believe this is a misplaced sentiment, one that causes grievous harm.

TMAI #104 was 2018: Year of the Unsexy Fundamentals. In #105, let’s address the most fundamental fundamental: Prevent your website visitors from bouncing.

As I’ve stressed in both of my books, bounce rate is not a KPI; it is a metric. (See TMAI #2). It simply delivers the opportunity for success. A 0% bounce rate might still not mean success: Users may visit a second page, but they hate everything about the experience, price, tone, navigation, etc. — and never convert.

Bounce rate is a metric that needs your attention because without it, your beautiful house will have no foundation.

What is a bounce rate?

Any visit with only one “hit” recorded is considered bounced.

That hit is typically a page view. So, one page view and exit equals a bounce.

How should I analyse bounce rates?

The best starting point is your Landing Pages report. Look at the top-25, find the ones with high bounce rates, and focus on improving them.

Pay special attention to top-25 landing pages for your Paid Traffic segment. These pages should have minimal bounces, you are paying for every visit.

More ideas: Six Tips For Improving High Bounce Rate / Low Conversion Web Pages

What me worry?

I often hear:

“I don’t care about a 90% bounce rate; the landing page has everything ‘they’ need.”

“I’m not selling anything on the page.”

“This is a brand experience.”

“We are primarily a content site.”

I have to admit, I do not personally buy the hypothesis that depositing a human on a page just to read and scroll will create anything more than marginal business value.

Clicking through to an additional page shows deeper engagement. Contributing to a micro-outcome delivers business value.

If your visitors do neither, how are you increasing satisfaction? More importantly, how are you making money?

If they do either, your bounce rate goes down. Hence the value in the signal.

How about an example?

My family is looking for a new washing machine. We are considering this one from Whirlpool.

Take a minute to view the product page, and form your impression.

whirlpool wfw9290fbd

Should this nice page have a bounce rate of, say, over 50%?

No. Of course not.

How would business value be created if I simply look at the page and leave?

We have so many opportunities to engage with the content and thus eliminate the bounce.

You likely want me to play a video to learn more about the machine and be impressed with the brand.

You likely want everyone to to click on the plus sign next to Wash and Dry Cycle to learn more.

You likely want a deep researcher like me to download and explore the complementary documents.

And, there’s so much more. Perhaps you would like me to write a review, search for a review, click on the many links you have to retailers near me that have this product in stock, follow Whirlpool on social media by clicking those buttons on the page, check out the other machines that are on the page in case they are a better fit or perhaps you want some people to even buy that product on the page.

These behaviors create business value. They bring the human closer to the brand, deepening affinity. That’s the sort of success you seek in an effective website.

Consider the question again: Is a high bounce rate acceptable for Whirlpool?

Why should I really, really care?

Don’t obsess about the 70% bounce rate on that page you so painstakingly optimized. It is just a data point.

Instead, obsess about the fact that someone came, took no action of business value, and left.

It is possible that the page offered a robust, lasting brand experience even without driving an immediate action. But why base you conclusion on a gut instinct?

Why not create an experience that engages the human, causes them to click and dive deeper into the experience?

Then, we solve for the human getting something they want – information, happiness, relevance – as well as the business getting something wewant – measurable brand affinity and influencing purchases online or offline.

With bounce rate, you are obsessing about a richer understanding of customer intent and focusing on your ability to deliver against that intent.

intent purpose intersect

This is such a beautiful thing to solve for.

What about benchmarks?

.1. If your bounce rate is under 10%, you’ve implemented your analytics code wrong. Don’t argue — just go check your code (you are likely firing an onload event).

.2. Based on my years in digital, it is hard to get a bounce rate under 20%. Anything over 35% is a cause for concern and anything above 50% is quite worrying.

For Paid Media, shoot for a higher standard of 25% or lower. (Yes, I am saying a standard of disappointing one out of every for four people you pay to bring to your digital existence is okay. I am not happy about this; I’m just being pragmatic.)

Won’t different sites have different bounce rates?

Yep.

There are nuances. Common sense still applies.

A couple of examples:

If you land on Microsoft’s own store to buy a Surface Laptop, a slightly higher bounce rate for non-paid media is okay as the site is providing information in addition to “Buy Now” clicks. If you land on Best Buy’s page to buy a Surface Laptop you’ll likely shoot for exactly the benchmarks above as they are solving for sales in their store (on/offline).

If you are the Analyst for The Washington Post, you care less about bounce rate for logged-in Premium Digital customers (me!). You’ll care want a lower bounce rate for returning non-registered visitors (you need a macro or micro-outcome from them!). You’ll really obsess about bounce rates for new visitors (a la the Whirlpool analysis above).

Bottom line: It is much more exciting to focus on multi-channel attribution than an unsexy fundamental like bounce rate. But, do you want to pick the fruit off the low-hanging branches or abandon all those opportunities for the few at the top?

Unsexy. Fundamentals. First.

Happy 2018!

-Avinash.

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