The value of a consumer’s time online? 43 cents a minute

The adage “time is money” is just as valid online as in any other part of life. In fact, a minute of e-commerce window shopping is worth an average of 43 cents, and the median worth of one full visit to an e-commerce site is $1.30, according to SumAll. The data visualization company also determined that the average amount of time spent per site online dropped from 3 minutes and 16 seconds in 2008 to 2 minutes and 49 seconds in 2012, yet revenue per visited increased  24% since 2011. So, customers are spending less time but more money online.

“Buyers are more accustomed to buying online so the hesitation is dropping,” says SumAll CEO Dane Atkinson. “People are looking for more directed purchases.”

SumAll announced its findings along with the launch of SumAll Traffic, a tool that merges Google Analytics data with revenue performance information to establish a monetary value for website traffic, Atkinson says.

According to Atkinson, three to four minutes is the “sweet spot” time needed to keep customers engaged without overwhelming them with too many pages and products. SumAll reported that 169 seconds was the average amount of time spent per site visit this year and that 1.54 minutes was the amount of time consumers needed to spend in order for e-tailers to make a buck.

“You want to make sure you give them enough depth…[so] they can spend those few minutes examining [your site], but not so much confusion that they get lost looking at a lot of different products and can’t actually get to a payment pathway,” Atkinson says.

Although SumAll analyzed revenue per minute and revenue per visit, Atkinson says that the value per minute data provides a better revenue gauge because it shows less variation, so is “sharply consistent.”

SumAll analyzed patterns across 10,000 customers and $1 billion in transactions, Atkinson says.  

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