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I have a small niche business and website selling mountain biking books and maps, that I've recently overhauled. I'm pretty confused by some unusual GA data characteristics about my buyers and wondered whether anyone had any theories or suggestions.
Basically the vast majority of my customers come in as direct source, new visitors and enter directly on the product page. It seems that the buyers already know that they want to make the purchase when they enter the site.
So, its apparent I haven't succeeded in pulling in and selling new customers. What confuses me however, is the fact that 80% or so of the buyers I do get are new visitors entering on pretty deep pages sometimes with not very memorable urls. I can't help but think that there must be alot of people researching, bookmarking and then coming back to purchase, but the new visitor data suggests otherwise...they would be marked as returning visitors.
Any thoughts or help on this would be appreciated. Thanks.
I wonder if for some reason, I might just have a large percentage of people who are researching on their work computer and then buying on their home computer (and thus appearing to be new visitors)
Its frustrating because I'm getting very little ROI information that analytics is supposed to provide. I'd imagine that many e-commerce sites get alot of business from bookmarked or direct visitors. I wonder how they manage to track back to original source?
Thanks for your help.
A lot of the shopping sites open new windows this way, because it's in their best interest to keep their site open in your browser.
One way to get support for this theory is to run a report just for Firefox and Safari users. If the proportion of those referrer-less internal-page-entry visits drops dramatically for these two browsers, it fits.
Your situation underscores the necessity of having all possible links to your site (through affiliates, banners, pay per click) marked for tracking with a parameter in the link URL. Relying on the referrer is no good any more. Even for search. On sites I track, 9% of all pay per click traffic has no referrer because of the link behaviors of various affiliate search engines --- it's a much higher percentage for Content Network PPC.