Tradedoubler unearths unexpected online buying habits across Europe

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Using its new, User Journey technology, Tradedoubler has uncovered the detailed online buying habits of European consumers. These data-driven insights dispel common buying behaviour perceptions and allow marketers a unique insight into the often unexpected paths followed by their customers online, helping them to target consumers more effectively.

The data revealed by Tradedoubler shows vast differences in online buying behaviour across European countries. Based on the analysis of eight million online sales, consumers in Germany are revealed as the most decisive shoppers, with an average journey length of just over five days (5.07 days), from the first click through to the completion of a sale. Consumers in the UK take an average of seven days (6.69 days), while those in France (10.93 days) and Sweden (11.84 days) take the longest to make an online purchase decision.

A more in-depth view, looking at the sales of different products and services, shows that although British online purchase journeys are relatively quick, when buying traditional retail products (such as consumer electronics and health and beauty products), the typical purchase involves more than 100 clicks (114), six times more than other European countries.

While the insights gathered show that total online sales do decline by around 11% during the weekend, this is the time when smartphones and tablets come into their own. They show that across Europe, 15% of sales taking place on a smartphone happen on a Saturday, traditionally the busiest in-store shopping day of the week. Sales made via a tablet rise considerably on a Sunday to 16.4% in Europe as a whole (20.6% in Germany, 18.3% in France, 15.2% in the UK and 19.5% in Sweden), as consumers turn to their tablets as their device of choice at the end of the week.

The data also sheds light on the cashback-savvy British consumer, showing that 93% (compared to 82% in Europe overall) of purchases that start on cashback sites in the UK also end on cashback sites. The misperception among marketers is that cashback steals the sale, but User Journey data reveals this not to be the case. Cashback websites also speed up online spending in Britain: purchases made involving a cashback website take only five clicks for the user to complete, making them more than three times quicker than other user journeys in the UK.

Dan Cohen, regional director, Tradedoubler, said: “Our User Journey insights demonstrate that consumer behaviour differs across markets and sectors. In the UK it takes consumers around seven days to complete an online purchase; from the time they first click on a website, until they complete their online order. This is a key period during which marketers can reach out to, and influence the user, as they compare products and hunt for deals.

“The insights have debunked many common digital marketing myths, based on outdated consumer behaviour theory. Buying behaviour is constantly evolving. This can be seen, for example, in the rising number of consumers starting their online purchase journeys on cashback websites, which is how more than one in ten journeys start online. User Journey data is essential for marketers looking to get closer to their consumers; giving them the insights they need to optimise their digital marketing budgets and improve the online shopping experience they offer to Britain’s diverse consumers.”

User Journey is an integral component of Tradedoubler’s business intelligence tool, ADAPT. It allows marketers faced with a vast and complex online digital landscape to gain the intelligence they need to make effective decisions about targeting and marketing spend — instead of relying on out-dated marketing theory.