Study Finds Consumers Increasingly Search Across Multiple Retail Sites Per Session

Why do consumers browse on multiple retail sites when shopping for a specific item? Excluding the fact that they look for a better price, 34% browse multiple sites looking for a better selection, 23% say the product is unavailable, 20% want to compare shipping options, and 20% want more product information, according to a recent study.

HookLogic commissioned Market Tree to conduct its third annual Online Shopper Survey in May 2016 to get a better understanding of consumer attitudes and motivations toward ecommerce. The performance marketing company has data on more than 90 billion yearly ecommerce searches and $125 billion in ecommerce transactions.

So how do retailers get consumers to stay longer? Show them the product faster, get the product to them faster once they make a purchase, and retarget when the consumer leave the site without making a purchase, according to HookLogic's report.

The report — Browsing & Buying Behavior by Category: 2016 — analyzes responses from about 600 consumers who shopped online within the past three months. About one-third of consumers purchasing online said their buys were based on impulse.

The good news for retailers: two-thirds of shoppers start searches for products and services directly on retail sites like Walmart, Target and Best Buy, compared with one-third of shoppers starting searches on engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Of course HookLogic offers up recommendations on ways to bring its products into the fold, but the data provides valuable insights on consumer behavior. Consider this: 40% of online purchases were made on a mobile device. Some 60% of consumers of baby care category shoppers said they browser multiple products on the same site.

About 65% of online shoppers browse at least one of the core six categories online once a month or more -- typically split between those who browse weekly, monthly and somewhere in between, according to HookLogic's report. 

On average, 49% of consumers report purchasing at least once a month. For example, nearly 77% of shoppers who have purchased a Baby Care item online do so once a month or more, while only 36% of electronics purchasers do.

How long does a purchase take from discovery to conversion? While it differs greatly, HookLogic's data found that for most categories, there are two types of decision-making processes. First, the spontaneous purchase decision, which occurs about 1 to 2 hours before purchase. Second, the considered purchase decision, which occurs about 1 to 3 days before the purchase decision. 

The data also found that for categories like Electronics and Home, there is also a higher incidence of extended purchase decision, where consumers start thinking about their purchases weeks or even months beforehand.

Marketers can find the report here.

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