The average time between when an online shopper first vists a website and when they make their first purchase has increased by 15 hours in the past two years, according to a survey by ScanAlert.
ScanAlert, which issues Hacker Safe security certificates for websites, found that shoppers are taking an average of 34 hours and 19 minutes from their first visit to an e-commerce site to when they buy, up from 19 hours 11 min in 2005. The survey analysed 2.6 million online sales by 128 million individuals from 470 websites.
"The primary reasons for the delay are greater sourcing choices, and the availability of broadband access at work and in the home," said Nigel Ravenhill, ScanAlert's director of marketing communications.
Ravenhill said broadband allowed people to complete sales quickly, but also made it easier to window shop. "Cautious shoppers, those who take more than three days to buy, are becoming even more cautious," Ravenhill said.
The 2007 research shows shopping cart abandonment is habitual and unavoidable for retailers.
Ravenhill said that retailers must evaluate return on investment from their pay-per-click advertising campaigns over a longer time.
He said frequent shoppers are also most concerned about the safety of the sites where they shop, and thus the most influenced by merchants who build an online comfort zone.