Repeat visitors 8 times more likely to make online purchase
Here are some interesting figures from a story on InternetRetailer.com
Visitors returning to a web site are eight times more likely to make an online purchase than new visitors, according to new data from WebSideStory Inc. During the first three months of 2006, repeat visitors to business-to-consumer e-commerce sites had a conversion rate of 12.61%. That compares with a 1.55% conversion rate for new visitors.
This begs a couple of questions.
Here’s one of them:
When you consider those figures, and think about someone coming back eight times before completing a purchase, what went wrong the first seven times? How did we manage to fail them seven times in a row?
Granted, some people come to our sites simply to browse, without any immediate intention to buy. Others will be comparison shopping and find a better deal elsewhere.
But even so…why does it take eight visits before someone buys?
And here’s the next question:
If it does take multiple visits before someone is ready to buy, can you do to get those first-time visitors to come back seven more times?
– Do you try to collect at least their email addresses on that first visit?
– Do you email newsletters or special offers from time to time?
– Do you try to recover visitors who started to make a purchase during one of their first few visits, but didn’t complete the process?
– Do you provide 1-800 numbers for people who would like to buy, but are being held back by one or more unanswered questions?
– Do you respond to all customer and prospect inquiries quickly and courteously?
I think there are two things to be learned from these figures.
1. We need to review, test and analyze every pathway on our sites to identify where we are losing people’s confidence and why.
2. We need to do a much better job of making first-time visitors a lot more comfortable and confident about buying from our sites….right from the start. And make efforts to collect at least their email address as soon as possible.
Here are some research briefs that contain some relevant and useful data relating to these questions: