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[VIDEO] Why focusing on bounces can unbalance your marketing over the peak period

Learn more about what do bounce rates look like ahead of peak trading, by watching Chris Cairns' webinar at IMRG Weekly Data Show [12:00min - 22:25min].

As retailers prepare for Black Friday, many will look to optimise their websites by analysing bounces to understand how visitors interact with specific pages on their sites. After all, bounces – that single page session where a user begins and ends their site journey on the same site page must be minimised. If marketing activity is driving site traffic that is going nowhere, action is needed at a site or campaign level to address this.

Why is this important?  

With estimates that up to 40% of online traffic is from bots, this distorts the real situation around bounce rates and visitors. Most concerning is the implication for audience insight. If brands are modelling audiences from customers who have simply visited the site, but not purchased, for new customer acquisition, this could drive more irrelevant people to site. 

Would you rather pay for 10,000 site visits or 100 new customers? 

That’s why ecommerce retailers must develop their models around real buyers rather than site traffic to create more accurate and valuable audience insights to base their marketing around.  

A deeper dive 

By doing so, it means more relevant people – those most likely to buy – will be driven to your site. But that’s not enough. What’s also essential is using Incremental site optimisation to drive engagement and encourage purchases. This means you need to think dynamic, not static, when it comes to your website. Adopting Machine Learning and AI can play a critical role in personalising onsite recommendations and delivering tailored experiences, so no user’s experience is the same.   

Equally important is maintaining these visitor connections when they leave your site. To achieve this, it’s critical you understand and recognise them as individuals across all devices they use to access the web. And this requires an identity solution that can connect your data points, so you have this visibility.   

By investing in a persistent identifier, an ongoing dialogue can be developed with customers and prospects over time. And taking advantage of smart algorithms allows you to determine the optimal approach to communicating with them as they move across the web.  

Rather than constantly serving them the same ads for a product they may have shown past interest in, you must be more sophisticated. These algorithms can determine the best approach, which could mean more value is delivered by introducing them to other products across the range they mightn’t have been aware of. All this helps build long-term relationships and profitability rather than focusing on short-term sales.      

But this approach requires a commitment to marketing, which is especially important over peak season. After all, marketing’s not a nice-to-have but a necessity.  but as market dynamics change, this isn’t the time to cut budgets.  

As market dynamics change, beyond the peak period, some brands will be considering reining in their marketing spend. But this isn’t the time to cut your budget. Instead, it’s an opportunity to increase your share of voice in a less crowded ad market as others pull back on marketing investment. And with consumer purchasing decisions being more considered and taking longer, retaining brand visibility means new customers will have a better chance of discovering you. 

Yes, as the cost-of-living crisis bites, people are shifting toward necessities rather than luxuries, so marketing spend and campaign focus must be realigned to reflect this. But this doesn’t mean cutting it, which simply leads to a reduced market share.

The bottom line  

In challenging times, your marketing must centre around a clear understanding of your actual buyers. It’s then a case of using this insight to connect and engage with relevant consumers at an individual level to encourage them to buy. This is particularly important around the peak trading period.  And despite the economic climate, the winners that will come out of these challenging times quicker and stronger will be those that maintain a focus on marketing.