Consumers may have a variety of reasons for using a retail brand's website, including browsing, purchasing, or browsing followed by purchasing. In this study we examine visits to three different retail websites to develop a typology of website visit behaviors and reveal factors that are associated with each visit type. We find four visit types that are consistent across all brands, which we label “touching base,” “search/deliberation,” “goal-directed,” and online shopping “cart-only” visits. One of the brands has an additional visit type we term “considered visits.” The type of visit a consumer makes is influenced by a combination of marketing channels, and their visit and purchase history with the brand. For example, shoppers that are directed to a retailer's website by clicking on a search engine link (paid or organic) are more likely to make visits that are associated with a purchase goal, while visits generated by an email are more likely to be just touching base. These findings provide marketers with a more refined understanding of the different ways consumers use their websites, and the factors associated with these visit behaviors.
- Website browsing