Understanding Online Buying Behavior: Part II Time-to-Purchase Patterns


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In the first part of this series, we talked about how first time buyers differ from returning buyers. We concluded that the more often a buyer returns, the more likely they are to complete a purchase.

This post will focus on the buyer’s time-to-purchase patterns and how time make a huge difference in determining how likely visitors are to purchase.

Time-To-Purchase Patterns

From first visit to purchase – The average time delay between a buyer’s first visit and purchase is 19 hours, but 72% of visitors will buy in the first 12 hours. Here’s the complete breakdown:

  • 30% purchase in less than 20 minutes
  • 50% purchase in 20 minutes to 1 hour
  • 60% purchase in 1 to 3 hours
  • 65% purchase in 3 to 12 hours
  • 72% purchase in 12 to 24 hours
  • 80% purchase in 1 to 3 days
  • 85% purchase in 3 to 7 days
  • 95% purchase in 1 to 2 weeks
  • 100% purchase in more than 2 weeks

Key takeaway: Start remarketing as soon as the visitor abandons the site. The first 12 hours are the greatest opportunity to convert a sale. New customer remarketing following a first purchase should be an additional core capability of every ecommerce website.

Check that your shopping cart persistence is set to a minimum of 60 days.

Abandonment patterns within 28 days – Breaking down the abandoner population reveals distinct patterns relative to their previous 28 days of activity on a given ecommerce website. Specifically,

  • 43% are “one-time” or “first-time abandoners.” The recovery rate for one-time abandoners is 18%.
  • 42% are “serial abandoners” who have abandoned more than once. The recovery rate for serial abandoners is 48%.
  • 15% are “recent goal abandoners” who have made one or more purchases followed by an abandon. The recovery rate for recent goal abandoners is 57%.

Key takeaway: People who abandon more than once are 2.6 times more likely to make a purchase. Recent activity, in the form of either a purchase or abandon, increases the probability of recovering a sale after shopping cart abandonment. Therefore, rethink the way that you approach abandonment. It is an essential part of the purchase cycle.

In the last part of our series, we will talk about how cart size influences shopping behavior.

Can’t wait to find out more? Download our free eBook on The Science of Shopping Cart Abandonment.

Check out our full infographic here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Charles Nicholls
Charles Nicholls is a social commerce expert and board advisor to several e-commerce startups. He founded SeeWhy, a real-time personalization and machine learning platform, which was sold to SAP. Serving as SVP of product, he built SAP Upscale Commerce, an e-commerce platform for direct-to-consumer brands and the mid-market. Today, Charles serves as chief strategy officer for SimplicityDX, a commerce experience company. He has worked on strategy and projects for leading ecommerce companies worldwide, including Amazon, eBay, Google and many others.


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