When it comes to marketing a multichannel approach, seven may be the magic number, according to new research carried out by performance marketing agency R.O.EYE.

Analysing 110,000 online sales across UK retailers and financial service brands amounting to £9.2 million, the group found that seven interactions encompassing eight channels produced an average order value (AOV) of £132, compared to one (£69), three (£92) and 11 (£129).

Those channels in question include Google Adwords, organic search, affiliates, display ads, blogs and forums, email campaigns, Facebook and direct to site.

While more steps in a journey produce the largest sales, the majority of transactions were driven by just one, deriving from visits directly from a search engine – these sales saw AOV of less than half of those than journeys consisting of up to 11 interactions.

However, what the findings seem to show is that consumers seeking ‘big ticket’ items, those that need consideration and research, are likely to be shopping around and exposing themselves to a wider variety of marketing channels, before ultimately making a large purchase.

Indeed, R.O.EYE found that those making large purchases such as furniture spent the longest time online – one hour and three minutes – while those making smaller purchases such as insurance typically spending around 22 minutes.

Affiliate for re-engagement

Interestingly Google Adwords was the most popular first and last-click channel. For the latter, Adwords was used to drive the final action of a third of transactions analysed, while affiliate was the second-most used at 22%.

Instead – alongside direct-to-site – affiliate came into play as the most popular way to re-engage consumers on longer journeys with four or more interactions.

With all other channels seeing a decline from three interactions onwards, affiliate remained a well-used channel throughout increasingly complex journeys, while blogs and forums remained a “steady, if smaller” contributor to sales processes, encouraging shoppers towards a final sale.