Ecommerce habits mature in UK

10 August 2011

LONDON: The path to purchase in the UK's ecommerce sector often lasts more than 30 days, a study has revealed.

Google, the online giant, partnered with Nielsen, the insights provider, to assess behaviour across seven product categories, with sample sizes varying from 15,453 adults in the travel segment to 1,700 shoppers interested in loans.

The average journey to making a purchase lasted 27 days in the apparel sector, 24 days for travel, 23 days for mobile phones, 20 days for utilities, 12 days for car insurance and nine days for a loan.

In a third of all cases, this process took at least 30 days after initial research began, with only 20% of people in apparel and travel completing a transaction in 24 hours, measured against 54% for gas and electricity.

Similarly, the typical buyer spent over three hours researching an apparel purchase, and over 1.5 hours doing so for holidays and mobile phones, falling below an hour for the other categories monitored.

The average consumer viewed 9.4 sites before finalising a transaction related to travel, returning 2.3 times to each site, figures standing at 2.9 sites, but 3.9 visits, for apparel.

Once again, loans actually registered below-average totals here, with web users accessing 2.8 sites and logging on an average of just 1.5 times.

The various industries also saw different approaches more broadly, with seven types of site - from airlines and hotels to user reviews - employed for travel, while a modest three - search, aggregators and direct providers - featured for car insurance.

Search played a part in 70% of all purchases, rising to 92% in travel and surpassing 66% in every segment except loans, on 56%.

The amount of enquiries entered on platforms like Google came in at 20 in the travel sector, more than doubling figures from elsewhere, and nearly seven times the number posted by loans and car insurance.

Equally, the share of participants using branded and generic search terms again peaked at 79% in the travel category, declining to 59% for property, 56% for loans and 50% for apparel, the highest scores on this metric.

Data sourced from Google; additional content by Warc staff