High bounce rates on Product Pages? Here’s why.

Ruth Peters
November 29, 2022

The eCommerce sales funnel has changed in recent years, meaning that what once worked well is now no longer the most optimal way to drive your social and eCommerce site sales.

One of the most significant changes is the move to edge experience, where shoppers start their consideration and discovery process on social media rather than via search engines. This is particularly true of Gen Z, of whom 62% have made a purchase using social media in the last 90 days.

Shopping at the edge puts stress on traditional Product Detail Pages (PDPs).

  • The step from social to eCommerce site landing pages is frequently poorly optimized and creates an experience gap.

  • Traditional PDPs were created to be part of a journey that started at the home page. But as more shoppers discover products on social media, these pages are no longer optimized for their intended function.

  • PDPs were designed to provide short, very focused product descriptions for people who are ready to purchase. Now, the focus has shifted to product discovery, meaning these pages no longer perform well.

These factors combine to exacerbate the experience gap when stepping from social media to PDPs, with 72% higher bounce rates and 50% lower conversion rates seen during the migration. 

Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate the value of the product page when it is part of the traditional eCommerce journey but as a destination for edge traffic its simply inadequate. For a shopper coming from social it feels transactional and inauthentic, the social context is lost, damaging the customer experience and leading to a lack of trust, engagement.

Our research shows that retail brands face losing 14% of their revenue each year unless they catch up with this changing consumer behavior.

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The keys to product page optimization

The role of a product detail page changes in the new world of social commerce. Retail brands need to first understand the role their PDPs do play and then optimize the content, design, and journey to increase sales through their online stores.

Re-examine the intent of the landing page

Intent is everything when you’re thinking about product and landing page optimization.

As discussed above, the focus of PDPs and social shopping has shifted away from funneling customers to the checkout and instead towards discovery. This means that now the priority for PDPs and eCommerce websites is to capture the attention of shoppers.

However, for returning customers, often coming from search engines, who know what they want and are just looking to make a purchase, capturing attention should take a backseat — while a smooth and simple user experience becomes the priority.

First, establish the intent of your PDP, then you can look at how to maximize your product page optimization to meet your goals and those of your customers.

Long vs. short product pages

In the past, short, highly-focused PDPs were the way to go. And this can still be the case when retargeting potential customers who are looking only to make a purchase.

If you are looking to capture the attention of shoppers migrating from social to your eCommerce store and exploring your products, then longer PDPs that are rich in content and high-quality images will serve your needs far more effectively.

Industry leaders, such as Amazon and Wayfair, have invested heavily in lengthening their PDPs to reduce bounces and increase their conversion rates. Their PDPs now contain more than just sparse product descriptions, product images, and checkout links, focusing instead on providing rich and persuasive content for customers to browse through.

When looking at a typical PDP from one of these industry leaders, you are likely to see an optimized product page structure that looks something like this:

  • Core product description, including product images
  • Upsell
  • Alternate products
  • Best-selling alternate products
  • Comparison table
  • Product specifications
  • Sponsored alternate product
  • Product merchandising
  • Sponsored alternate product
  • Sponsored alternate product
  • Q&A/FAQs
  • Customer reviews and testimonials

As you can see, these large companies aren’t shying away from longer PDPs. By providing such a vast amount of content, they are able to capture the attention of potential customers and keep them on the journey of exploration and discovery. 

These longer pages also provide ample opportunities for upsells, links out to your other products or services, and sponsorships. Focus on cultivating PDPs full of relevant, engaging content that customers will find interesting to keep them on your page and maximize conversion rates.

Longer pages also deal better with different levels of intent. Even if you are targeting return customers, as long as the content you provide is relevant, you will reduce bounce and increase conversion rates with this audience.

Leverage A/B testing

Larger brands and marketplaces have huge amounts of data to draw from and large testing teams to constantly refine their approach and conduct thorough A/B tests. Amazon, for example, runs approximately 20 tests per day, compared with the one per month (or less) that smaller brands are capable of. 

But just because you don’t have the same resources as these industry leaders, does not mean you cannot use the lessons they have learned. There is A/B test data to support the use of longer PDPs for maximizing conversion rates, provided the content is relevant to potential customers.

It is also important to conduct your own testing, wherever feasible for your brand. What works for an Amazon, while useful to learn from, will not be a 1:1 match with what works for you and your market. Run as many A/B tests as you can using metrics tailored to your eCommerce business, and use this data to refine your approach when designing PDPs.

Ensure your PDPs are thoroughly optimized

81% of shoppers have encountered issues when migrating from social to PDPs and landing pages, according to SimplicityDX research. Among the most common problems are:

  • Broken links
  • Pages taking a long time to load
  • Stock issues
  • No sign of the aspirational content that attracted them from social

It’s crucial to ensure that every aspect of your landing pages is as optimized as possible to avoid a poor user experience on your eCommerce store. Having a long PDP full of creative, relevant content is redundant if the links on the page don’t work or the advertised products are out of stock.

Keep testing and refining your PDPs to try to stop customers from clicking through from your socials, only to bounce straight off of your poorly functioning landing page.

Level up your PDPs today

It’s clear that traditional PDPs do not work optimally for customers who discover your products on the edge and then migrate to your eCommerce store. Instead of sending shoppers to shorter, more focused product pages, create pages designed for different levels of intent and rich in content.

In fact, building a specialist microsite for campaigns that you are running can tick all of the PDP insights discussed here. With this approach, you are able to cultivate relevant, creative content that engages and provides value for your customers, while reducing bounces and increasing conversion rates.

If you’re looking to optimize your landing page experience and eliminate the biggest eCommerce leak seen today, contact SimplicityDX today to find out how we can help.

Read more about our insights on social commerce:

Social commerce: How brands can get the most out of social feature

Have we underestimated the importance of social shopping?

What is Social Commerce? The Top 8 Reasons Brands Need It

Shopify & social commerce: 5 best practice insights and optimizations

The eCommerce Shopping Funnel Has Changed

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