Lunchtime Is Online Shopping's Prime Time
The Internet allows consumers to shop around the clock, but online consumers do most their purchasing during business hours, according to a new survey by Coremetrics. Leading retail sites received 40 percent more visits and 53 percent more purchasing visits on weekdays than they did on weekends during the month of September, and the majority occurred during daytime hours, according to the report.
The LIVEmark Index gauges consumer online purchasing behaviors by measuring KPIs across more than 175 leading online retailers. This includes all participating retailers across nine subcategories: apparel, general merchandise, gifts, home, office and electronics, pets, specialty retail, sports and outdoors, and U.K. retail. Participating companies included Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Cabela's, CompUSA, Eddie Bauer, Sharper Image, and Staples.
Data collected from the study points to the importance of daytime hours to marketers. "If you're a company trying to launch an email campaign, when and what day you launch that campaign is very important," says Matthew Lawson, director of product marketing at Coremetrics. "It's obvious that the late morning/early afternoon period is an important time of the day for online retailers."
In addition to email campaigns, companies should up their bids on keyword searches during peak shopping hours on Web sites like Yahoo! and Google to help drive traffic to their sites, according to Lawson. Sixty-two percent of weekday visits to participating LIVEmark sites occurred between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Standard Time. In contrast, only 26 percent of weekday visits occurred in the evenings between 6 p.m. and midnight. Conversion data revealed that visits during daytime hours on weekdays were 15 percent more likely to result in a purchase than visits during the evening. Site visits and purchasing visits for leading retailers peak at midday on weekdays between 1 and 2 p.m., making midday promotions especially important to product exposure and sales, according to Lawson.
Consumers are hitting Web sites during lunch hours in part so that they can access customer service, as opposed to a Sunday afternoon when the company may be closed, Lawson says. "A consumer knows he or she can go online and get a phone number to call a representative or utilize live chat. They can talk to a human being. Some companies don't offer customer service during the weekend. That's something marketers should keep in mind."
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