A new study suggests that online shoppers are taking twice as long to buy as they did just two years ago. From May 2005 to May 2007, the difference between customer’s first visit to a site and the time they bought increased from 19 hours to over 34 hours.
The study, Digital Window Shopping: The Long Delay Before Buying, was conducted by Bay Area security certification firm ScanAlert and comprised of 480 tests by some 470 organizations–small, medium, and enterprise, B2B, B2C, retailers, non-profits, content publishers, manufacturers, ecommerce pure plays, you name it. As it turns out:
[...] Slightly over one-third (37%) of shoppers took more than 12 hours to make a buy decision. Twenty-six percent took more than three days, with almost five (18%) of these “cautious shoppers” taking one week to decide where to buy.
ScanAlert, whose “Hacker Safe” badge can be seen at trusted internet retailers everywhere, first conducted this study with the same methodology back in 2005. This time around, they were able to open it up to some bigger players, making the data even more compelling. People taking three days to buy jumped 23%, one-week shoppers went up 28%, and customers taking 2 weeks to buy increased 50% over 2005.
Digital Window Shopping suggests that, “Clearly, consumers do a great deal of [comparison] shopping ‘research’ before selecting a retailer.”
After hearing of the study, I called Nigel Ravenhill, ScanAlert’s Director of Marketing Communications. Nigel explained that, as intriguing as this study’s findings are on face value, it’s inspired them see if anything changes according to industry.
So, stay tuned. They’re doing a follow-up analysis on this one, and we’ll have Nigel over for a podcast in the coming weeks to discuss the findings.