One in five shoppers take over seven hours to complete a purchase after first visiting a website

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11:  In this photo illustration a laptop displays the shopping basket on the eBay website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week.  (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A new study has found that one in five shoppers take over seven hours to complete a purchase after initially visiting a website.

Marketing platform Monetate analysed a random sample of more than seven billion online shopping experiences to explore key performance indicators including add-to-basket rates, bounce rates, time to purchase and devices used.

The EQ data revealed less than half (42%) of purchases happen within the first hour of a shopper’s browsing session. The breakdown of the key timeframes leading up to purchase were:

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  • Hours 1-7: nine percent of all purchases happened in the six hours immediately following a shopper’s first visit.
  • Hours 19-25: 16 percent of all purchases happened roughly one day after a shopper first visited a site.
  • Hours 42-48: five percent of all purchases happened nearly two days after a shopper first visited a site.

The majority (90%) of customers began their path to purchase on a desktop with 91 percent completing their purchase in the same way.

Although 75 percent of all page views occurred on a desktop, the height of the desktop’s popularity came during working hours, namely 8am-4pm. Outside of these hours, desktop conversion remains strong but mobile devices and tablets account for roughly 40-45 percent of page views during commuting hours, early morning, and late nights.

“This is incredibly important for brands to understand,” says Lucinda Duncalfe, president and chief executive officer at Monetate. “More than half of shoppers are spending a lot of time, in a lot of different places, on a lot of different devices, before they come back and buy what originally caught their eye. It’s critical then that brands ensure a customer’s shopping experience picks up where it left off, no matter the time or device.

“The big news here is how differently customers behave when using more than one device to complete a purchase. The first device used is, more often than not, also the device that gets used to complete the purchase. When you understand customer behaviour trends including purchase duration, time of day, and device type, you can optimise the shopping experience for every customer.”

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