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Study Says a Third of Online Purchases Are Impulse Buys

Not all online shoppers browse with a purpose and and purchase items.

According to a recent HookLogic study, “Browsing & Buying Behavior by Category: 2016,” two-thirds of shoppers browse online at least once a month and one-third of online purchases are impulse buys.

Online shoppers’ browsing habits varied by goods category, either checking out different products on the same site for comparison or putting products in their shopping carts without buying immediately.

Across all categories, online shoppers compared different products on the same site more, with more than half of those surveyed (59 percent) practicing this search behavior with baby care e-tailers. For apparel and accessories, online shoppers didn’t compare different products on the same site as much (35 percent).

Baby care also topped online shoppers’ inactive carts, with 30 percent of online shoppers admitting to putting products in their cart without purchasing them right away. Almost a quarter of online shoppers (24 percent) also abandoned carts on apparel and accessories sites.

Most e-shoppers said that a better selection (34 percent) was the motive for them to browse multiple sites, followed by unavailable products (23 percent), product information (20 percent) and comparing shipping options (20 percent).

Impulse purchasing occurred the most on baby care sites, with 46 percent of online shoppers buying products without a reason. Not much impulse shopping occurred on apparel and accessories sites, with only 30 percent of online shoppers admitting to buying randomly in this category.

HookLogic’s exchange data also emphasized that electronics had the largest purchase cycle and number of products viewed, with 10 days and 19 items. Apparel and accessories fell in the middle of categories, with a purchase cycle of 8.4 days and 13 products viewed.

Considering that 40 percent of online purchases are also made on other devices, including smartphones, it’s important that retailers note the browsing and buying behavior of online shoppers. Keeping these in mind, retailers will be able to fulfill consumer demands and also boost their e-commerce presence.