Less than half (42%) of online purchases occur within the first hour of a shopper’s browsing session, with the ensuing 48 hours a prime window for targeting by retail marketers.

This comes as a part of batch of e-commerce findings by multi-channel personalisation specialist Monetate, analysing a random sample of seven billion online shopping “experiences”, which includes data on add-basket-rates, bounce and conversions.

The study also sheds some light on optimal purchase times and device types.

48-hour window

While the bulk of purchases are indeed occurring shortly after a consumer has started browsing, Monetate found that one in five (21%) are completing a transaction between 19 and 48 hours after visiting a retail site.

The propensity to buy begins to taper after this period, suggesting that marketers should be looking to ramp up campaigns, such as retargeting and basket abandonment emails, within this high-intent time-frame following a site visit.

90% on desktop

While the influence of various devices on the path to purchase has become fluid in today’s digital ecosystem, Monetate’s research states that the majority (90%) of consumers start their searches on desktop, and on the most part (91%) finish there.

But while 75% of all page views occurred on PC, the lion’s share of activity takes place during working hours, between 8am – 4pm. Outside of this timeframe, mobile and tablet creep in to account for 40 – 45% of page views during commuting hours, early morning and late at night.

Critical consideration

Monetate’s president and CEO, Lucinda Duncalfe, claimed it’s “incredibly important” for brands to understand that over half of shoppers are spending “a lot of time” hopping between devices on the move, before returning to buy what caught their eye.

“It’s critical then that brands ensure a customer’s shopping experience picks up where it left off, no matter the time or device,” said Duncalfe.

“The big news here is how differently customers behave when using more than one device to complete a purchase,” she continued, adding that “more often than not”, the first device used is also the one used to complete a purchase.

“When you understand customer behaviour trends including purchase duration, time of day, and device type, you can optimise the shopping experience for every customer,” Duncalfe concludes.