92% of consumers visiting retailer's site for first time not making a purchase

online shopping
Two-thirds of respondents said they plan to make more purchases online in 2017 than they did in 2016.

When 92% of consumers visit a retailer's website for the first time, they are doing so for reasons other than making a purchase, according to a new study by Episerver.

In fact, 45% of first-time shoppers visiting a site are searching for a product or service, according to the "Reimagining Commerce" report. Another 25% are comparing prices or other variables, and one in 10 consumers are looking for store details.

One-third of consumers who visit a brand's website or mobile app rarely or never complete checkout, even if their original intent was to make a purchase. In addition, 98% of shoppers have been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content on the e-commerce site.

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"The content customers see and the experiences they have while interacting with a brand online are crucial to shaping their purchasing behavior," said James Norwood, chief marketing officer and executive VP of strategy at Episerver. "While not every consumer visiting a brand's website is there to make a purchase, brands must consider how the experience of their websites—from navigation to checkout—supports engagement."

The report also highlighted the increased importance of online shopping. Two-thirds of respondents said they planned to make more purchases online in 2017 than they did in 2016. And 91% of the most frequent shoppers plan to make more online purchases in 2017.

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"What shoppers see on a website or mobile app, and how it is delivered to them, can make or break their final decision to make a purchase," said Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver. "Consumers expect the content they're shown to be relevant, accurate and, increasingly, customized to their preferences and location. To compete in 2017, strong content is no longer negotiable."

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