|BTW, our front-end is flash-based .. can that be any reason? |
Flash can definitely be a factor. But I don't think it can account for 60% of visitors leaving.
Have you checked how many of those 62% visitors are from adwords and other PPC? If a high percentage of those 62% are from PPC, it is reasonable to believe some of these are fraud clicks.
Also further optimize your keywords on adwords, and make them land on the exact page they are interested (no doorway pages), this may reduce the number of people leaving your site in 30 seconds.
Try visiting your site using PC's at other places - cafe's, libraries, friends houses. Maybe its isn't loading.
always remember a ecomerce site shall not be fancy, just easy to navigate, I have non flash intro, because that dos not help the visitor to find what hes looking for.
Beyond just saying "a whole bunch", I wouldn't wanna speculate on the large number of sites I've just closed a window or hit a back button solely due to landing on a flash intro that dinna have a superbly visible "skip it" toggle. It doesn't matter how short the flash intro is, I typically won't be there to find out until the day arrives that the pc can pop open its top and out comes a box of fresh popcorn to go along with the lil' annoying movie. Good popcorn can even get me to sit through almost anything. :)
I'm still in the "dark ages" *chuckles* with dialup and I leave any site that has flash intros. They take forever to load much less do anything. Half the time the "skip intro" button doesn't work quickly enough either.
I much rather visit a site that has a normal index page as the first page I see and one that is updated/changed on a realistically regular basis.
How knows, perhaps some of those 62% visitors are those returning and just not seeing anything new for them to look over *shrugs*
I agree- when I see a Flash image loading on a new site, the first thing I do is look for the "skip" button. (Pet peeves- the idiots who don't include one, have one that isn't linked, or is incorporated in the Flash and won't work until AFTER the whole file loads!)
Several customs have come to us to do their sites and wanting huge Flash intro pages. We quickly discouraged them from the idea. :) We will only include Flash on a customer's site if it is not related to navigation (unless there is seperate non-Flsh navigation) or if it is just a small graphic that doesn't overwhelm the page.
I have to be a contrarian. I know a lot about Flash and Flash sites. The one thing I tell customers who want to have a Flash introduction, is to get rid of the Skip intro button. It is an oxymoron.
Again, Flash itself is not a problem. It is the people thinking up the Flash intros that are a problem. There are a few cases where the Flash intro works in one's advantage, but not many. In my book, a designer not including a skip intro on purpose, like in my case is not an idiot.
|a designer not including a skip intro on purpose, like in my case is not an idiot. |
All we can do is repeat what real people do: if I see a flash intro, I immediately look for the "skip intro" button; if I don't see it, I "back" out (using high-speed broadband). The association of flash intros and lame websites is very nearly perfect.
I would have a look through the top ecommerce sites and see how they get people clicking into their store, offers on the home page, buying from the home page, clear links to great deals, free shipping deals etc etc etc. I don't think you want them sitting through a Flash movie, or looking for the skip intro, you want them delving into your products right away and channeling them to the checkout.
I surf with flash disabled and only enable flash when I reach a site that uses flash that I am especially interested in. What does your site display when a visitor does not have flash enabled?
Also, how do you know how long it takes someone to leave your site? If they only visit one page, then I would think you have no idea how long they looked at that page.
I never watch flash intros. They're a waste of time that 99% of the time add nothing to the site.
I'm not sure you guys understand what I'm saying. I'm not advocating Flash intros. I'm saying if one insists on a having a Flash intro, and there are a few legitimate case where they work very well, then get rid of the skip intro option.
Let's look at this outside the box and outside the heard mentality. Just like a Flash intro can get in the way of a Web site, a skip intro button can also get in the way of a legitimately used Flash intro...
IMO the only flash intros that warrant not having a skip button are videos of someone demonstrating some features of the site that may not be readily apparent.
Otherwise it's just fluff - especially on an e-commerce site.
|How knows, perhaps some of those 62% visitors are those returning and just not seeing anything new for them to look over *shrugs* |
True... and some more of them perhaps haven't got time to stop right now but will be back later; having quickly added you to their favorites.
I've never studied the actual percentage that leave in 30 seconds but I do know that the number of first time visitors that never go past the home page even if their Google search query (as seen in the referer) is an exact match for what I have to offer is significant.
You could do a usability test to answer the "why", now that you have got the numbers.
Harry you have some odd views
Having Flash Intros without a skip intro is just plain dumb for e-commerce. Flash Intro period (IMHO) for e-commerce is dumb.
Don't get me wrong, having flash in some well placed areas to draw attention to certain points (free shipping, sale items etc etc) is a fantastic approach, and peforms well for my sites.
Having your e-commerce site *depend* on Flash is a big mistake.
C'mon guys, flash intro's are THE PERFECT solution for commerce sites...
that sell flash intros.
>> Harry you have some odd views
Look at it this way. The current dogma says that Flash intros are to be avoided like the plague, right?
I like to look beyond accepted views like this one and find out the real deal. It turns out that for some circumstances, Flash intros are perfect. In that case, a skip intro button takes emphasis away from the intro. Maybe in some cases, I WANT the user to go through the Flash intro. In that case, not putting the skip intro button is not dumb. It's smart.
And I have done sites where there were no skip intro links, because I wanted the intro to be viewed.
Perhaps my views are odd, but am I not a standing member of WebmasterWorld? Isn't this one of the place where experiments and the cutting edge knowledge on Web sites are discussed and tested?
I'm not approaching Flash intros like some new kid fresh out school saying Flash is the end all answer to everything.
I'm approaching this from the point of view of a tenured Webmaster and marketer who has to generate money! I say, just when everybody think it is now bad to have Flash intros, that perhaps people have judged too fast and are reciting accepted thruths. My job is to contest those thruths, and I have.
well... i guess... the discussion has gone beyond what I intended it to be ... but I guess it is good learning here.
Just some info: our main site does NOT have a flash "intro" - the site itself is built in flash... with content and navigation. This site is primarily informative in nature.
We also have an additional site which is more of our "shop". Our PPC, Adwords, Overture all lead to the SHOP (and not to the flash).
My first concern is - does the 62% figure look alarming to you folks? If yes, what can we do about it? etc.
Yes it's alarming unless you have bought one of those bs "send a swarm of raging customers to your site" packages.
I already suggested what you need to do: Run a usability test.
You say "hit our site" and then leave. From that I assume that your 62% is a combination of exit rates for ALL pages combined? If so, narrow it down. What are the top 10 worst pages (as far as exit rate)? Now, take a real close look at those 10 pages. Put yourself in the position of a random surfer. What are they NOT getting from those pages? For the answer, you'll also need to examine HOW people are getting to those specific pages. Are they through paid searches? Organic searches? Affiliate links? Maybe you have some paid searches that are bringing people to your home page. Never, never do that. If someone searches for a blue widget and you are paying for traffic, they better land directly on the blue widget page.
Dig deep into the referrals of the worst pages. I believe you'll find your answer.
Is your flash taking too long to load? There could be many people who browse without Flash enabled. I usually browse without Flash support.
In fact our own ecommerce site had Flash menus originally, but we changed to good old HTML once we realized how silly the idea was.
I realize there might be cases where Flash is useful.
"corbing" has hit the nail on the head.
What you need to be looking at is the EXIT pages.
If the 62% relates to all exits then, as corbing says, you need to narrow it down.
But if that 62% relates to your home (flash based) page then there's your problem right there.
Many people hate Flash - especially if on dial-up connections.
I have 2mb broadband, but I hate Flash too, and have joined the growing ranks of people who use a browser that includes a Flash Blocker, so arriving at your site would give me a blank page - and believe me I would be gone again in micro-seconds...
If you are going to use Flash, use it within your site, or in a section of your site - but not, ever, on the home page.
Bear in mind that if, you, me or anyone else is doing a "quick search" for info, then the page we hit from our search engine enquiry needs to contain that info, or we will hit the "back" button to go back to the search engine and try the next link till we do find a page that has the info we are looking for.
Remember too, that many searchers may be on their works office machine and so have severely limited time at their disposal.
So losing 62% within a few seconds seem about right to me for a site with a Flash home page.
Always remember too - design your site for your visitors' ease of use - and never for your designer's, management's or committee's egos, as it is your visitors that will make you money, no one else. (So many sites these days have lost sight of how important it is for their visitors to be able to find what they are looking for as easily as possible).
Just because YOU want everyone to view the Flash is very egocentric thinking. Are you making the site for others to view or just a vanity site for yourself?
If you're making it for yourself and don't care if people click away instead of being made to sit through a Flash intro (90%+ of which are wasted bandwidth by designers/programmers trying to show off, IMHO), then by all means leave off the "skip" link.
However, if you want people to visit your site and provide some sort of monetization for your hard work, then you should design it for what the users want.
|for some circumstances, Flash intros are perfect. In that case, a skip intro button takes emphasis away from the intro. Maybe in some cases, I WANT the user to go through the Flash intro. |
What if the user is surfing without Flash? Hates Flash? What about a user returning to the site for the second, or the tenth, time - do they still need to see the Flash?
If you think this is cutting edge then you are delusional - Flash intros, of any kind no matter how 'amazing' or how much you want the user to see them are not cutting edge by any definition.
I have never seen a solid ecommerce site that uses a Flash intro, and that is what this question is about. It is a distraction from the purpose in hand, a barrier to buying, annoying the first time you see it, absolutely bl***y infuriating every time thereafter. I have never met anyone who preferred them to a standard home page - and that includes inexperienced/non-techie users.
I would suggest removing the Flash intro temporarily to see what happens with users, I am willing to bet it will have a positive effect, and certainly I would suggest not paying for ads that direct anyone to a Flash page - send them to the meat.
Is it possible that your statistics are not correct?
|My first concern is - does the 62% figure look alarming to you folks? If yes, what can we do about it? etc. |
I wish there was a bit more discussion about this too.
My stats show a similar figure. When I discussed it with another web designer who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, I was told it was normal behavior for web surfers.
Any other insights about this?
It's about what mine is too. According to my stats, 20% of my visitors bookmark the site, so I figure some of the people who leave quickly are doing that. The rest don't want what I have or don't have time the day they visit to look any farther.
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