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Online shopper behaviour

The data, compiled from over 60 e-tail websites over a three month period built on the same platform all using Google Analytics, studies where visitors land on websites and what actions they take.

The main findings are:

  • Conversion rates ranged from 0.9% to 3.6%

  • Only 40% of visitors arrive on a website’s home page

  • A third of all visitors land on category and product pages

  • Close to 60% of all product page arrivals leave immediately

  • Over one third of category page arrivals leave immediately

The main lesson from these figures is that more effort needs to be spent on category and product pages: many visitors arrive here and do not get the same experience as the well-designed, heavily thought-through home pages.

Category pages in particular are often well-covered in search engines (e.g. “women’s skirts”, “sandals” or “silk scarves”) and are often the landing pages for paid search (PPC) advertising campaigns.

However, they are often limited to small photographs and sparse copy and sadly ill-equipped with vital brand and service messages which stimulate engagement and encourage browsing.

Product pages are well thought-through, but rarely function as a landing page or entry path to a site, serving solely to exact a purchase decision from the visitor. Studying landing pages in conjunction with their “bounce rates” – the percentage of visitors who leave a site without going to another page – can yield vital insight. If a site doesn’t engage, then marketing effort is wasted and potential sales are lost.

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