top of page

Product Views are Rare

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

"How many products does an e-commerce shopper view in a typical session?"

A 6-month long study of 1.9M sessions of an e-commerce brand with shops across 5 EU countries, with an active catalog size of cca. 250; reveal that in almost a third of all sessions customers do not even view a product and in only around 3% of sessions do customers view more than 10 products.

This study has counted the number of view_items that occurred within each of the sessions and broke them all down by 5 intervals.

Table 1: In two thirds of all sessions, customers viewed one product or less.

These findings show us that these websites had an average conversion from starting a session to viewing a product at 67.23%, yet in approximately 88% sessions 3 or less products were viewed. Furthermore, we can notice that more than half, 52.65% of all viewed items occurred in only 11.35% of the sessions. This data shows that an e-shop visitor does not always view a product and if they do, they don’t view too many.

Therefore selection and merchandising of products is an important competency of an e-commerce firm, because if an e-shop has more than 200 active products per day; it is likely the shopper will only see a small part of the inventory at any given session. This is something we also understand intuitively, how many products do you view before making a purchase? How many times have you browsed more than 10 items in one session on an e-commerce store?

A common question that arises when discussing this analysis is that: the brand in the study had only 250 products, perhaps the customers simply didn’t have much choice to be clicking on? What if the shop had a far bigger selection on offer? Perhaps a larger selection would attract a customer to browse more?

To answer this question we conducted a similar, but shorter study of one month and 250k sessions. The e-commerce company in question had a product catalog 20,000+ strong and a price range between 1.50€ - 1000€, which yielded similar results. We can observe that the company was better on average at converting customers into viewing a product overall. (27.32% vs 32.77%)

Table 2: We discover a similar pattern in an e-commerce firm with a much richer catalog selection in terms of categories, price variation and sheer size.

From this data we can conclude most sessions do not result in many view_items and as such view_items are “rare”. Additionally, we can observe that the products customers do view also form their early opinion of your e-shop. In both examples of data, we can see that 1 product viewed per session is a big proportion of all sessions. With a large product selection, it is hard to know without a data-driven analysis, which product should have more or less of the exposure within the shop. If you would like to read about how to use a data-driven approach to systematically evaluate your products and decide which products should have more exposure and which ones less, you can do so here.

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Part of Datacop's Blog Series on Data Science in the Digital Economy (#1) The Product Catalog Analysis is a report, e-commerce analysts...

bottom of page