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    How Much Time Do Shoppers Spend in the Consumer Buying Journey?

    How Much Time Do Shoppers Spend in the Consumer Buying Journey?

    Ecommerce experts know: As the digital marketplace continues to evolve, understanding the intricate ins and outs of the modern consumer buying journey is becoming increasingly important. 

    It’s now an essential part of maximizing your brand’s potential over a wide range of fronts — conversions, engagement, revenue, growth, and more. 

    Challenging as it may be, staying on top of consumers’ ever-changing behaviors and preferences remains crucial for a pretty straightforward reason: If your brand doesn’t keep up with change, sooner or later you’ll lose customers to those that do. 

    With relevance and performance at stake, one might wonder how effectively their own brand delivers throughout the modern consumer buying journey. 

    Here’s a deep dive into all things consumer preferences in the Salsify “2024 Consumer Research” report, paying particular attention to the amount of time consumers spend at each stage of their buying journey.

    Explore these findings and learn how you can leverage these insights to increase conversions and foster loyalty.

    How Often Do Shoppers Shop Online?

    Understanding the frequency with which shoppers choose to shop online is a great place to start exploring the length — and complexity — of the consumer buying journey.

    It turns out that more than half of consumers (58%) report shopping online at least once a week, including:

    • 10% who shop daily, 
    • 23% who shop several times a week, and 
    • 25% who shop once a week. 

    A measly 1% said they hadn’t done any online shopping in the past year. 

    Another particularly interesting connection the data revealed is how these behaviors skew across generational lines. Ten percent of Generation Zers (Gen Zers), millennials, and Generation Xers (Gen Xers) engage in daily online shopping, compared to only 6% of baby boomers. 

    Developing a Winning Digital Presence

    It remains critical for brands to maintain a vibrant, compelling, and engaging digital presence, especially as these trends accelerate. 

    With more options than ever at consumers’ fingertips, meaningfully standing out from your competition — with personalization, promotions, or engagement campaigns — becomes a “must-have.” 

    Brands would also be wise to robustly segment their shoppers, ensuring they’re able to delight customers from across the spectrum of consumer behavior. Make sure you’re collecting the right data to make it happen. 

    How Long Do They Spend Shopping Online?

    More customers are shopping online more frequently than ever. But how much time are they typically spending researching before they purchase?

    This answer is a bit murky. The data shows that a “typical” length might not exist at all:

    • 6-11% of consumers typically spend less than 10 minutes; 
    • 30-40% of shoppers spend 10-30 minutes;
    • 25-31% spend 30-60 minutes; and
    • 20-32% spend several hours or even days.

    These figures are dependent on the kind of purchase being made — a shopper is more likely to engage in extensive research before buying a car versus a roll of toilet paper, for example — but still reflect a notable eagerness on the consumer’s part to do their homework.

    Customizing the Shopping Experience Is Crucial 

    Because of the variation in time that consumers spend researching products, brands must tailor their online offerings to accommodate both brief and lengthy engagements. 

    Doing so can ensure brands better meet their consumers’ diverse needs, increasing the likelihood of conversion and fostering lasting loyalty. 

    Put it this way: At least 89-96% of customers spend more than 10 minutes researching their purchases.

    To cater to these customers — whether they spend 10 minutes or 10 days — you need to provide as much comprehensive, exhaustive, and accurate information on product display pages as you can. 

    As always, understanding your customers — their preferences, behaviors, and interests — ensures that they feel at home and confident while engaging with your brand. 

    Meeting Shoppers Along the Consumer Buying Journey

    With all this in mind, how can brands turn these findings into actionable changes for their brand and customer experience? 

    Enhanced content, including high-resolution photos, videos, 360-degree views, and even augmented reality tools, can give shoppers a comprehensive understanding of your offerings — all from the comfort of their digital devices.

    This kind of content helpfully simulates a virtual in-store experience, offering a pseudo-tactile sense of the product without any physical contact — and it can go a long way toward helping customers decide to purchase your product rather than a competitor’s. 

    Strengthening the Shopping Journey With the Right Technologies

    Integrating chatbots and other real-time assistance tools can also provide the immediacy and personalized service of a brick-and-mortar experience — with the added bonus of 24/7 availability.

    These innovations not only bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences but also cater to the modern consumer's expectations for instant information and support.

    Finally, personalizing the consumer buying journey remains a crucial component of capturing and retaining customer interest by catering to a wide range of needs and interests. Considering the diversity of buying behaviors our study identified, personalization ensures you aren’t pushing a one-size-fits-all approach onto your shoppers.

    By continuously refining your digital strategies, you can better position your brand to meet shoppers at every stage of the consumer buying journey.

    It All Comes Down to Trust

    Shoppers don’t research their products for fun — some have been disappointed before, while others are driven by finding the best value or making a fully informed decision. 

    Ultimately, their considerations fundamentally boil down to trust. If you can effectively demonstrate to your customers that you listen and act on their concerns throughout the consumer buying journey, you’ll enhance their shopping experience. 

    You’ll likely also solidify their loyalty to your brand, setting the foundation for a long-term relationship built on mutual reliability and respect.

    Featured images -  Consumer Research 20244

    2024 Consumer Research Report

    You can’t craft marketing strategies that resonate with today’s discerning shoppers without deeply understanding the consumer buying journey. Download the report for comprehensive insights on optimizing your digital presence and building trust at every touch point.


    Written by: Chris Caesar

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