News from IMRG who brand themselves as ‘the voice of e-tail’ shows that while online shopping continues to rise, the way people shop online is changing.

Almost aping the traditional high street shopper, online shoppers take longer onsite, browsing, researching and comparing products far more than they did five years ago. The result of which is online conversion rates in the UK have fallen by 55% over the past five years. In 2006, the average online conversion rate for retailers in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index was 8.4%, but that figure has dropped to 3.8% now.

The trend is being labelled as ‘online purchasing’ compared to ‘online shopping’. With the increase in social shopping expected to contine the ability to convert browsers into buyers is possibly the biggest challenge to online marketeers in the months ahead. While gimmicks, offers and products will bring in would-be customers, online shops will have to think far more about their calls to actions and enticements to buy if they are to convert that traffic.

Have your conversion rates fallen? What are you doing to combat this?

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