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The average time between a customer first visiting an etailer and completing their purchase has risen over the past two years, according to a new study.

ScanAlert's Digital Window Shopping Report found that shoppers take an average of 34 hours and 19 minutes from the first visit to purchase, according to an analysis of 2.6m online sales.

The average time was 19 hours in the firm's last report, suggesting that some shoppers are more cautious than before.

The study looked at users of ScanAlert, partly to test whether the presence of its Hacker Safe logo would affect customer behaviour - the firm said it increased conversions by 14%.

ScanAlert said the report emphasised the importance of trust and security in the buying process, and recommended that retailers use a longer timeframe to measure ROI on PPC campaigns.

It also suggests that customers frequently use the shopping cart as a price comparison tool and that, as a result, site abandonment is a much bigger issue than cart abandonment.

In our recent Online Retail Checkout report, we found comparison shopping was one reason for checkout abandonment, but there are plenty of other factors to consider, such as poor usabilty, hidden charges, or an overlong checkout process.

See our recent Online Retail Checkout Special Report  for more information on reducing abandonment rates.

Graham Charlton

Published 13 July, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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