Web Users Don’t Wait for Marketers

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According to research, web users surf on average for 33 minutes at a time and view an average 46 pages across multiple sites. The range of web browsing duration varies wildly: from short bursts, up to the maximum found by the study—a continuous surfing session of 171 minutes, or just under three hours. The average time spent on the web each day per person (across different device types) was approximately three hours. [In fact, according to Forrester, if you are 45 years old or younger, you spend significantly more time using the Internet than watching television.]
 
The demographic in this study was 90 percent degree-educated Americans with 10 or more years computer experience, 80 percent men and 20 percent women. While not a representative sample of the wider population, it holds some important lessons for marketers.
 
What it means is that customers won’t wait. Other studies have shown that typical web browsing is made up of a mixture of tasks—from information gathering to email, social networking and transacting on ecommerce sites.
 
While some visitors may come straight to your site, especially returning customers, it is more likely that new visitors are on a journey across sites; grazing for information and staying in touch via social networking, IM, and email. Arriving at your ecommerce site, they find the product that appears to meet their needs.
 
This causes a burst of activity, comparing:
 
•    your product with possible alternatives
•    the price
•    the shipping cost, and
•    the risk of doing business with you compared with the alternates.
 
If they purchase, then your conversion process has worked well.
 
But the majority don’t. Perhaps only 1-2 percent of visitors to your website purchase from you on the same visit. The majority abandon. Those that abandon from within your conversion funnel are not completely lost. Some may come back at a later date and buy from you. But it’s a tiny percentage and most don’t.
 
The majority have either decided:
 
•    to buy from someone else
•    to buy an alternate product
•    to look for promotion codes
•    to do more research, or
•    not to buy at all.
 
Time is ticking by. The average web browsing time is 33 minutes, and they’ve just abandoned your shopping cart. To recover the shopping cart, you have minutes to act. The customer isn’t going to wait for you to remarket to them. They will either buy elsewhere, find a valid voucher code, or lose interest.

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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