Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google Clickstream Research

on May 29, 2012

We came across a piece of research that Google UK compiled last year which had interesting insight into the area of clickstream attribution. This involves areas of E-commerce such as how long the typical path to purchase is for an online consumer and how search contributes to decision-making. It’s particularly important in understanding that the “last click wins” model is outdated and that a fact-based approach informs consumers’ path to purchase.

Key findings of the report:

  • Research journeys are long and can last more than a month for some categories.
  • One in three conversions occurred 30 days after initial research. This was highest for Apparel (27 days), followed by Travel (24) with Loans (9) making up the shortest average journey length. It was interesting to note that apparel buyers took the most time to make up their mind, despite the average order value being comparatively low.
  • Apparel shoppers also spent the longest average research time with 3:17 hours per purchase. Loans was again the shortest with only 0:29 hours of research in each purchase. This would suggest retail shoppers aren’t in a hurry and take their time, in contrast with the finance shopper who simply wants a solution quickly.
  • Travel and Apparel categories saw the highest number of sites visits and different sites per purchase – more comparison research taking place. Travel had the highest number of searches per purchase.
  • 70% of purchases used search at some point (highest for Travel and Property).
  • 48% of purchasers switched between branded and generic search terms at some point in their online path to purchase. A good volume of consumers in categories like Mobile, Energy and Apparel have a good knowledge of the sector and navigate largely through brand terms which they already know.

The report concluded that consumer behaviour is intensive, complex and highly personal – to that end, as marketers we need to understand the full value of all online touch points including “assisting” clicks in the consumer path to conversion. Shoppers are now smarter, savvy and have easy and fast access to a wide knowledge base with online. They search branded and generic keywords across all stages of the online journey. Often, clicks do not generate any direct profit, but instead contribute to a later conversion and this is evident in the length of the purchase process. Moving away from a last click model is inevitable as multi-click journeys are worth more than single-click, and currently make up nearly half of all paid search conversions.

You can download the original report here.

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