According to a report I came across some days ago about hopping habits and their implications on the online merchants the Internet is rapidly becoming the ultimate window shopping experience for online shoppers, in a sense that online shoppers are more prone to visit 10 or more sites before making a decision on where to buy and return to that website. It kind of simulates what we do on our everyday life when shopping downtown or at the mall.

The authors of these report also state that shopping cart abandonment is a new trend in online shopping, something that didn’t happen for instance two years ago, and that forces online commerce sites to rethink about their marketing strategies. They suggest that online merchants set their focus on the reasons that drive costumers leaving their site without buying. The authors refer to the fact that window shopping is one of downside effects of having better navigation tools and faster connections than before, allowing the shoppers to visit and compare more sites before making a decision.

Online shops should redesign their costumers experience if they haven’t done it before, Some of the suggested improvements is turning their shopping carts in more than just a commodity or a mere convenience factor, since it’s rapidly became a key factor for the user that window shops on their sites, and later returns to make a purchase. Online consumers have learned to use shopping carts as the ultimate comparison shopping tool.

Another curious thing mentioned in the report was that online costumer often take as many as 18 hours before making a purchase, which wasn’t even near to what most of the merchants was expecting, but a rather common thing for the common shopper like myself. Almost every-time I shop online I end up spending quite sometime comparing prices across different sites, sometimes even in the same company like amazon.com and amazon.co.uk for instance, and later (sometimes even days later) return to a particular site, recovering my shopping cart and making the purchase. According to the report here’s some average times from first visit to purchase:

  • 50% took more than 1 hour
  • 40% took more than 3 hours
  • 35% took more than 12 hours
  • 28% took more than one day
  • 21% took more than three days
  • 14% took more than one week
  • 4% took more than two weeks

Times are indeed changing in the e-commerce world, or not!

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