In response to an emerging trend amongst our clients we have done some in-depth research into changes in buyer behaviour over the last 12 months. This identified a significant increase in the volume of site visits customers are making before their eventual purchase, and this has major repercussions on marketing costs and strategy.

The key findings were that 80% of clients are seeing an increase in the length of the path to purchase, with journeys of 12 visits or more seeing the biggest growth at 85%.

This potentially leads to increased marketing costs, as you could be paying more times to get the same visitor back to your site in order to convert them. Businesses need to respond by developing a considered strategy for both reducing traffic costs for returning visitors and removing as many reasons as possible for users to leave your site before committing to purchase.

Head over to Econsultancy to read the full article on our research and recommendations for how clients should be responding to this little discussed trend.


Updated stats from Q4 2015

We revisited this analysis to see how things have changed in the last 18 months, and the results are quite surprising.

Only 40% of clients showed an increase in path to purchase between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015, with journeys of 12 visits or more up just 16%.

So have increases in journey length slowed?

It’s difficult to say, as we looking at increasingly disjointed data. Over the entire period from Q1 2013 to Q4 2015 desktop traffic dropped from an average of 70% of total traffic across the clients analysed to just 40%. So with cross-device measurement still not nailed in Google Analytics we are effectively looking at 3 silos of traffic across desktop, tablet and mobile. How many visits are really going on behind each of these segments?

With device fragmentation increasing but journey to conversion relatively static according to the data it certainly appears that journeys must be getting longer in the real world. One thing is certainly clear – the need for reliable cross-device tracking has never been greater.