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Repeat visit = purchase

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday May 16, 2006 )

Most of us know that people who return to our sites convert better, but by how much?

The results of a survey of close to 240 million visits to online retailers during the first three months of this year shows that across the board, it averages out to 12.61% of repeat visitors making purchases, compared to just 1.55% of new visitors.

In certain sectors, the difference is even more pronounced according to the WebSideStory study. For computers and electronics, conversion rates of repeat visitors is a tad over 23% and for first-timers, just under 1.5%. This is understandable as items in this category can be quite expensive, therefore shoppers wish to research and compare prices between sites. Heck, I’ll compare prices on items around the $50 mark. I put it down to years of being poor :).

Items such as clothing are a different story according to the study, with 7.56% of return visitors purchasing compared 1.37% of new visitors – the gap is far smaller.

While the clothing shoppers first time visit purchase rate is lower than for electronics, the overall conversion rate for that industry isn’t as high generally – but the sites are valuable as they help to draw people to the company’s bricks and mortar store.

I’m guessing the hesitation to buy clothes online is because people have a tendency to want to try clothing on first. A size 10 (Australian sizing) in women’s clothes from one company can be very different to a size 10 from another company.

… Not that I wear womens’ clothes
… Not that there would be anything wrong with that if I did; right? Right?

Ah, politically correct writing be damned ;).

Read the WebSideStory repeat visit conversion report

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