homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks

Ecommerce Forum

Length of visits on web sites.
60% of visitors bail or stay for less than 10 seconds

 11:31 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

We are quite happy with our conversion results, however we are finding that 60% of our visitors
are bailing after a few seconds on our website.

We use highly targeted keywords, so our visitors are qualified, our site is fasting loading,
well designed, and we have excellent selection and prices that can't be beat. Our advertising
is targeted mostly to the USA.

Our only disadvantage, we are located in Canada. We have both Canadian and US prices displayed.
We guarantee no duties or taxes (under NAFTA) and our shipping charges is equivalent to US domestic

If Americans love to shop as much Canadians on the web, I estimate we are losing 30% of our
American audience.

We are thinking of setting up a US mailing address, and have a separate web site for the USA with
prices in US dollars for American customers.

Are 30% of Americans refusing to shop online outside the USA, or am I missing something? I hate to
redesign the website, if there are other reasons for the poorer conversion rate of American customers.

Has anybody encountered the same experience?

With all things being equal, does it matter to you, where you buy your goods?



 11:57 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Pardon my ignorance - but can somebody tell me how I can measure the length of visits to my website? Is there any script/software tool to do that?


 12:10 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

> however we are finding that 60% of our visitors are bailing after a few seconds on our website.

Are you excluding traffic that is not human? If that high of a percentage of visitors are leaving within a few seconds, something isn't right. I would assume that the site is appealing and immediately presents what the visitor was looking for. I do find that many will exit that first page they find if they don't immediately see what they were searching for. Its all relevant to the amount of content on the page.

We Americans, or I should only speak for myself, want it now. Yes we love to shop on the web for products, hence the skyrocketing online commerce industry. I think if your product can be found locally at the same, or close to the same price, I'd probably go local. If its a product that is hard to find, I may stick with the first two resources I locate, doesn't matter where they are. Unless of course we are talking about volume (weight). If that is the case, I want someone who has a warehouse close to my region or offers special shipping discounts.

Are you by chance viewing WebTrends server based statistics? I'm not too certain those numbers are entirely accurate.

> Is there any script/software tool to do that?

I believe most server based and web based statistics programs have an area pertaining to average visit length.


 12:29 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

We use NetTracker to get length of visit information. Our ISP provides this as a service.

The vast majority of our traffic comes from humans, as compared to robots and spiders, so this
is not it.


 1:37 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

As a fellow Canuck trying to do biz with our pals to the south, I can understand some of the challenges.

Are 30% of Americans refusing to shop online outside the USA

I don't know if that number is accurate, but I would say you are close.

We have both Canadian and US prices

I would strongly suggest you lose the Canadian pricing and stick with the greenback.

shipping charges is equivalent to US domestic

Bump up the retail price and include the shipping for free. Be sure to remind your customers that shipping is free next to every product you sell. Does wonders for conversion.

We are thinking of setting up a US mailing address

Do it. Do it now.

The more "American" you can look, the better you will convert. Period.


 1:43 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Do it. Do it now.

Great advice from pmac. All of the above. Free shipping is a plus. Even though most of us deep down know that nothing is for free!


 3:27 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

The industry has been moving away from free shipping, in the past few years. The few sites in
my industry that have free shipping, also have outrageous prices.

Shouldn't pushing the low prices, and informing customers about the free shipping illusion (free shipping = higher prices) help?


 3:36 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

One client I know had a similar concern - until we filtered out all the AOL hits and ran a new analysis. It's very hard to track AOL sessions without using cookies because of those danged dynamic IP addresses.

Depending how the stats package is set up, it can look like every AOL'er is a one page wonder!


 3:43 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Despite the fact that you say you use "highly targeted keywords," you can't be assured that your visitors are all finding you using those keywords. Once I started doing visitor session analysis, I discovered that many of the one-page visitors were people who searched for a term unrelated to me but which some engine paired with my site. Another significant portion, as Tedster indicated, are AOL visitors who just keep changing IP addresses.


 5:41 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I suppose the "ditch" time depends on the product you're targetting. I am in nearly the exact same boat you are in. I am primarily located in Ontario Canada (although some items are shipped from another location in New York). I target mostly Americans (account for over 90% of business).

I too try to make my site as "American" as I can. The way I have it setup is ALL prices are in USD$. There is a set of radio buttons under a "currency" section on the site that switchs all the dynamically generated pages from USD$ to CAD$ or EURO for Canadian or European users. Since USD$ is listed first (and is the default currency) and because Euro's are also there, I think Americans tend to think it is more of an American site selling goods internationally. But the functionality is still there for Canadians to view all prices in CAD$ only. The checkout even bills them in their currency.

I offer free shipping for items $50 and up. (Average sale of about $300, so that's not too bad). Free Overnight shipping on $150 and up. But my American competitors do about the same. I guess if you sell items in the $5-50 range, it's hard to offer free shipping.

I do not tell them there are no duties and taxes to the US, (otherwise they will know you're Canadian-based) and they will not believe you anyway. I do not tell them there may be delays in customs, because they will not trust the shipping time (even though customs delays are very rare for me). But if they ask, I tell them there is no duties/taxes and could possibly be held in customs for a day or two while shipping. And if they get charged duties/taxes for whatever reason, I pay for it. I also list in the footer of every page (in very small text), that we are based in Canada and the US. (to get "Canada" search requests and make it clear we have a US address catering to US consumers).

I have even went so far as to include the NY address in the DNS info to get overture to let me bid on terms without having to put "Canada based" in the listing.

Having said all that, my average user stays on the site around 4.5 mins, and the "ditch time" under 10 seconds is about 32%. With 20+% staying for 5 mins or more. I think that's pretty good, but I do intend to work on it some more.


 3:20 pm on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the detailed info.

I normalized traffic for AOL, and still have a large gap. Looks like my web site is going Dual Citizenship.

I have the same problem with Overture, on new listings. They want me to list country of origin in the description. Do I need to change my DNS info, or will a American address & Prices be enough, for Overture to treat us as a US site?

Their is probably no lawyers out there, but does having a US address (used only for mail fowarding) count as NEXUS. I.E. do I have to collect state sales tax for the State with my mailing address?


 6:26 pm on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)


As for getting around OVER's stupid rules the DNS thing helps, but one other trick I learned is that if you submit all your "Canadian listings" and "American listings" seperately, they will not notice and leave you alone.

For example, when submitting your US batch like "widgets", "blue widgets" ... etc. Don't include them with your Canadian batch of search terms "Canada widgets", "Canadian widgets", "Ontario widgets". Wait for one batch to be approved, then submit the other and wait again, etc.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved