Social commerce: Every bounce costs retailers $5.11

Consumers’ poor landing experiences can lead to 70 to 90% bounce rates, research shows.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
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social commerce

The average cost of a customer bouncing off a brand’s website is $5.11, according to a survey from SimplicityDX. In the U.S. alone, 90% of the population — or approximately 302 million people — use social media for an average of 2.5 hours a day. The majority (65%) of consumers describe social as a great place to discover new products, but only 15% of consumers check out on social media, preferring to buy on the brand’s website, according to SimplicityDX Academy research.

“The majority of shoppers think social is a great place to discover new products and brands,” Charles Nicholls, SimplicityDX’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, told Retail Leader. “But they don't want to buy there. As a consequence, e-commerce needs to change and become more social.” 

Cost of bouncing

SimplicityDX’s total cost per bounce is calculated based on the advertising cost to get each visitor to the site and the lost revenue opportunity when they bounce. It’s research found:

  • $4.89 is the lost opportunity cost when a new customer bounces.
  • $5.24 is the lost opportunity cost when an existing customer bounces.
  • $5.11 is the lost opportunity cost due to a bounce averaged across all customers.

 “When a customer clicks through to the brand site from social, it’s a clear sign of intent,” Nicholls explained. “But poor landing experiences are leading to sky-high bounce rates, typically over 70% and sometimes as high as 90% plus. So, for every 10,000 visitors, if 80% bounce, the average lost revenue cost to the brand is $40,880.”

Social commerce’s growth

SimplicityDX’s State of Social Commerce research shows that higher education is correlated with more use of social media as part of their purchasing process, and is somewhat correlated also with higher income. Use of social media is also correlated with marital status and having children in the house. Additionally, social media usage has a strong correlation with age; younger groups use social media more for shopping. In turn,  younger, well-educated, reasonably affluent and married with children consumers are most likely to use social media for shopping.


“Note that all age groups and demographics are using it, even older groups,” Nicholls said. “What is also apparent is that the platforms used are different with older groups more likely to use Facebook, for example.”  

Looking at GenZin particular, 41% start any search for a product on social media, and 80% use social routinely for shopping. Authenticity, a direct relationship with the brand and great customer service are especially important to this group, SimplicityDX found.  

SimplicityDX’s key social commerce findings include:

  • 66% of respondents use social media every week for shopping.
  • 76% of shoppers bounce 50% of the time or more from social media.
  • Only 3% of shoppers surveyed say they never bounce.

Preventing bounce

Many optimization technologies focus on the bottom of the funnel essentially trying to get more customers to convert and to buy more. 

“This is well trodden territory and already heavily optimized for traffic flowing down through the traditional ecommerce sales funnel,” Nicholls said. 

But because the start of the shopping journey has shifted to the edge, especially social, a new type of funnel has emerged where traffic goes directly to a category page or product detail page. 

Unlike an e-commerce site homepage, which has been heavily optimized to reduce bounce rates — down to a typical 45% — these other pages have not been optimized. 

“What we see across our customers is that on average 80% of social traffic landing on a product detail page bounces straight off,” Nicholls said. “Only 0.5% to 1% convert. Since traffic from social media is almost always paid, this means that 80% of the money spent on social advertising is wasted. These stats are truly appalling and represent a huge opportunity.”

 SimplicityDX found that after a consumer bounced:

  • 73% of the respondents were lost and did not buy from the brand at a later date.
  • 62% of shoppers felt frustrated and/or annoyed with the brand when they bounced from the brand site.
  • 24% said they were less likely to shop with the brand again.
  • 13% went on to buy from a competitor. 

The top three reasons shoppers bounced were (multiple answers allowed):

  • 55% reported the product was not found on the brand site.
  • 37% reported the product was too expensive.
  • 31% reported the product was out of stock.

In the end, the disconnected experience that shoppers encounter as they click through from social to the brand site causes customer frustration and loss of revenue. SimplicityDX found:

  • 39% share their frustration with friends or on social media.
  • 9% choose to share with the brand.
  • 60% of shoppers want the landing experience to show greater relevance to the original social media post and include all products depicted.
  • 39% want retailers to only promote products that are in stock.