User Journey insights reveal Europe’s online buying habits

Insights gathered from our User Journey technology have uncovered the detailed online buying habits of European consumers. Uncovering the often unexpected paths taken by online consumers en route to purchase, provides marketers with valuable information that they can use to optimise their digital advertising budgets by helping them to target consumers more effectively.

Based on the analysis of eight million online sales, the data-driven insights also dispel common buying behaviour perceptions. As expected, sales decline during the weekend — by around 11 per cent. However, sales via smartphones and tablets peak across Europe at this time of the week, with smartphones 20 per cent more likely to be used to make a purchase on a Saturday than any other day of the week. Traditionally, consumers make more in-store purchases on Saturdays, our insights suggest that they are browsing physical stores but comparing prices and buying products online, while they are in-store. This emphasises the importance of a joined up online and offline marketing strategy.

Further analysis of sales made on mobile devices shows that tablet sales are also higher at the weekend. On a Sunday shoppers are 19 per cent more likely to make a purchase on their tablet than any other day of the week. We see online shopping trends reflecting store opening hours, with consumers purchasing more products online when shops are closed, on Sundays for example.

User Journey insights also shed light on the time taken to complete an online sale, which varies significantly depending on the type of product or service purchased. By looking at data gathered from customers’ journeys across multiple websites, via numerous business models and channels, the time taken to buy different types of products and services is surprising. Did you know that people take longer deciding on health and beauty purchases than they do selecting financial or insurance products?

One of the most considered online purchases, based on the number of days taken to complete a sale from first click to last, are gaming products, which take consumers 17 days on average to purchase. Fashion products also involve lengthy purchase decisions, taking 15 days to complete. In contrast, travel products — such as flights and hotels — take consumers just under six days to purchase.

One of the quickest online purchase decisions made by European consumers occurs when purchasing online dating services; the average transaction is completed in just 1.6 days. Conversion times differ across countries, the Germans, for example, take just two hours and 24 minutes to select and sign up to an online dating service.

The average European online purchase takes just under five days to complete and involves 24 clicks. The journey length differs between markets, our insights revealed that consumers in Germany are the most decisive shoppers and take just over five days from the first click through to the completion of a sale. Consumers in the UK take an average of seven days, while those in France take almost 11 days and in Sweden nearly 12 days, to make an online purchase decision.

A common misperception by European marketers is that cashback websites steal the last click in an online purchase journey. The User Journey insights dispel this myth: when a consumer buys a product or service on a cashback website, 82 per cent of these people started their purchase journey on a cashback website. Not only do cashback websites initiate a lot of sales, the sales that occur on a cashback website are completed three times faster than the average online purchase.

Buying behaviour is constantly evolving and these insights have debunked many common digital marketing myths that are based on outdated consumer behaviour theory. User Journey data is essential for marketers looking to get closer to their consumers, it provides them with insights which can be used to optimise their digital marketing budgets and improve the online shopping experience they offer there customers.

User Journey is an integral component of our business intelligence tool, ADAPT. It allows marketers faced with a vast and complex online digital landscape to gain the intelligence they need to make effective decisions about targeting and marketing spend — instead of relying on out-dated marketing theory.

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