Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Is A High Bounce Rate Always Bad?

If you have any form of contact with website reports, you will no doubt be familiar with the phrase ‘bounce rate’.  Google defines Bounce Rate as “the percentage of single-page sessions”, in other words the ratio of site visitors who came to your site and didn't go anywhere else. 

It is one of the most popular online web metrics quoted and is typically cited by website managers as good or bad depending upon the figure…. With “High” usually meaning “bad”.

But is that really the case?

Those with some understanding of bounce figures usually claim that a high rate is a sign of poor design or bad usability. That users have not found what they wanted and then gone elsewhere.
This may indeed be true, however the opposite may also be the case. You see a user may have arrived at exactly the right page they wanted (either via marketing activity or good deep-linking search engine optimisation) and got everything they wanted (such as the right information or a view of a video).

Note: If you only have a single page site, such as a microsite or a holding page for a larger forthcoming site, then you can obviously expect a very high bounce rate.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Counting the cost of Public Sector Channel Shift

A lot of Public Sector organisations are now getting serious (or at least semi-serious) about Channel Shift. Most have by now realised that the potential savings are real and significant.
So coupled with a central Government agenda of cost-cutting, whatever the Administration in place, the digitisation of public services looks set to continue. In fact a recent survey by Goss Interactive highlighted that on average public sector organisations plan to save £1.75m each through Channel Shift in 2015.

But how much does it actually save your organisation to shift customers to online channels?

Back in 2009 Socitm (The Society of IT Managers) worked out the cost to serve for each of the channels being provided by a UK public Sector organisation (in this case a Council). The benchmarking work they carried out showed that the costs per visitor were:

  • £7.40 for face-to-face
  • £2.90 for the telephone
  • £0.32 for web enquiries
However, the direct costs of channel shift can also be supplemented by additional benefits such as:
  • Increase customer service and satisfaction
  • Building engagement and loyalty
  • Meeting customer expectations
  • Freeing staff to be re-deployed on more "low tech / high touch" activities
It is still worth pointing out that providing digital content and self-service functionality only helps a percentage of the population you are trying to help. For example there are 10.8 million people in the U.K. who do not use the Internet and therefore any 'digital first' self-service options for businesses and citizens should not be 'digital only'.