4 Consumer Browsing Insights to Help You Increase Conversions

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 13/07/16 18:05
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A recent Retail Week carried out a study looking at consumer behaviours and their browsing patterns. The research covered 1,000 UK consumers aged 18 and older and revealed some intriguing insights into the correlation between browsing and buying.

One of the elements of the study was about consumer browsing intentions when visiting retail websites. We've outlined 4 consumer browsing insights to help you increase conversions:

consumer browsing intentions chart

1) Keep customers in the buying mode

The research showed that the most common intention of consumers visiting retail websites was to “browse and buy if the product and price is right.” – 36% of those surveyed gave this as their primary intention for visiting retailer sites, whilst 79% choose this statement in their top three intentions.

When comparing this to online window shoppers, the study revealed 4% chose window shopping as their primary intention for visiting retail websites (17% chose it in their top three intentions). You can see there are many more visitors to retail sites who are in purchasing mode, so that's why it's so crucial to keep them engaged with your products and website content to help them convert.

2) Comparing the marketing

This customer engagement must be backed-up by actively presenting your products and services in an appealing way, which also promotes value for money, as the study also revealed:

21% ranked product and price comparison against other retailers as their primary intention for visiting retailer sites.

This reflects the modern trend of comparing the marketing, where price comparison websites have changed online customer behaviours and made consumers more savvy browsers, who are keen to see value for money.

68% named price comparison in their top three browsing intentions.

So, it's crucial to understand the trend and ensure your content is optmised, to reduce the number of consumers purchasing comparable products elsewhere after visiting your site.

3) Browse now, buy later

18% chose browsing and potentially buying from the site later as their primary intention for visiting a retailer site – rising to 65% who picked this intention in their top three.

This trend is catered for by many big retailers, such as Amazon, Asos and John Lewis, with “Save for later” features, which discourages basket abandonment and allows busy or undecided browsers to drop products into this space to look at on their next visit and maybe buy later.

Even if a browser does get to the pre-purchase stage and abandons their basket, it doesn't mean they've no intention of buying these products in the future, so many retail marketers will use basket abandonment as an engagement opportunity, via email marketing or other channels, for interacting with customers to encourage a conversion.

4) Webrooming and offline sales

The question around consumer browsing intentions revealed the evident (but not insignificant) trend of “webrooming” – essentially the reverse of showrooming – where consumers research and review products online before purchasing in store. Although only 9% chose researching before buying in store as their primary intention for visiting retail sites – 31% had it in their top three browsing intentions – this is still an indicator to consider when optimising your website and product marketing content.

What might the reasons be for the consumers choosing to purchase offline rather than online? There are obviously various factors involved, such as the type of product being viewed. With tech goods like laptops, for example, customers may want to touch and test the product in person, rather than simply visualise and read the spec online. Also, there might be an obstacle with delivery costs or delivery timescales, which prevents consumers from buying via the website.

Think about using time-specific offers on your products, rewards and add-ons, and delivery discounts (or free delivery) on certain expenditure levels. It's important to deliver good customer experience too, which encourages repeat visits.

See the full Retail Week study here: Retail Week guide


These insights into consumer behaviours and browsing and buying patterns are really useful for reviewing the impact, tactics and customer experience delivered by your website content, landing pages and engagement activities. These trends and insights can help you build in incentives and hooks in your strategies to keep visitors on your website pages for longer and increase your chances of converting browsers into buyers!

Are you a retailer using email marketing to increase your conversions? Download our free Ultimate Guide to Writing Email Marketing Subject Lines and start to see the impact of optimising your subject lines!

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Topics: Brands, Browsing, comparison sites, Consumer behaviours, consumers, Conversion rates, conversions, CRO, customer engagement, Customer experience, customer journey, customer lifecycle, Customer service, ecommerce, Email Marketing, Engagement, Incentives, Insights, nurturing, Offers, omnichannel, optimisation, optimise, optimising, Retail, Retail Week, retailers

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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