Holiday Online Shopping

Online Shopping Behavior

For online retailers, engaging the consumer when they are ready to purchase is important, and understanding online shopping behavior can give the e-tailer a competitive edge. Thirty-seven percent of American consumers plan to do some holiday shopping by Halloween. They’re starting their holiday shopping early, but plan to spend less on each online purchase than they did last year.

RichRelevance released its new Online Consumer Report analyzing the online shopping behavior on major US retail websites. Over 200 million shopping sessions were studied to determine how their behavior varied depending on whether they were coming to a site from a bookmark, search engine or social media.

Online Shopping Behavior

The average online order dropped from $128.27 in August 2010 to $116.58 in August 2011. Buyers are spending more time online researching products to find the best value before committing to the purchase. Online retailers are offering more incentives, like free shipping. These factors could have contributed to the slight decline in the online average order total.

Social Media Shopping Behavior

While Facebook referred more retail shoppers then any other social media source, it still accounted for less than one percent of the total web traffic. Shoppers who purchased through Twitter had the highest average order value, outspending consumers who were referred by Google. Promoting your brand through social media outlets can be valuable for retailers, even though a small percentage are coming to your site from Facebook or Twitter, those customers who do buy from your store tend to spend a bit more than those being referred by Google.

Search Engine Shopping Behavior

No surprise here. Google referred the most traffic to a retailers website, with almost 81% of the online searches. Yahoo and Bing account for a combined total of 17% of the search traffic.

Conversion Rate and Value

Online Shopping Behavior

Shopping Behavior and Your Store

As you prepare your site for holiday shoppers, understanding their behavior is a key component to your marketing efforts. Google still refers the majority of online shoppers to your website, however shoppers are also spending time on Facebook and Twitter. Experiment with social media in the promotion of your brand. Traffic to retail sites from Facebook increased 92 percent over last year. While still a very small overall percentage, more and more consumers are finding retail outlets through social media.

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Cyndi Williams

As COO and co-founder of novusweb®, Cyndi focuses on managing online operations for select clients. She is an expert in operating Magento-based stores, as well as fulfillment, advertising, and social media.