Taggstar’s 10 tips for increasing eCommerce customers’ time spent on site

Alison Wiltshire

11 Jun 2024

In today’s fast-paced digital, multi-device world, acquiring, capturing and holding a shopper’s attention is becoming increasingly challenging. According to the Contentsquare 2024 Digital Experience Benchmark, digital consumption – measured as time spent on site combined with page views – has consistently declined over the past years. Coupled with rising acquisition costs and declining conversion rates, this trend forces retailers and brands to double down on strategies to better engage and convert shoppers along the digital shopping journey.

By leveraging strategies and tactics to reduce bounce rates, increase time on site (TOS) or a specific page, also known as dwell time, you can enhance engagement, improve conversion rates, increase sales and build stronger loyalty. Longer site sessions can also provide valuable customer insights that retailers can use to further improve the overall customer experience.

Of course, a single metric in eCommerce doesn’t tell the complete story and should never be measured in a vacuum. For instance, increased time on site without a purchase could indicate that shoppers are spending a long time on site because they are not finding what they need and end up leaving the site in disappointment.

For a complete picture, TOS should be measured alongside other metrics like conversion rates and/or order value to fully understand shopper behavior and business performance.

Read on to learn more about why focusing on increasing time spent on site should be a priority and our top 10 strategies.

How do you measure time spent on a website?

In order to measure time on site (TOS), you need tools that track how long visitors spend on your website from the moment they arrive until they click out. While time spent on site and dwell time are sometimes used interchangeably, dwell time typically refers to the amount of time a visitor spends on a single webpage, whereas time spent on site is the duration of the total session. Time spent on site is calculated from when a visitor clicks through to your site from a search engine or link to the time that the visitor navigates away from the site.

Various methods, metrics, and tools can be used to measure and track time spent on a site. Google Analytics, the most widely used website analytics tool, provides several relevant metrics, including average session duration, engaged sessions, and page timings or dwell time, to help retailers and brands evaluate their performance and develop strategies to improve and grow their businesses.

Why do you need to increase time on site?

It is important to focus on increasing time on site (TOS) for several reasons. Typically, increased time on site means higher user engagement, indicating that shoppers find the site and content relevant and valuable. It’s quite simple – engaged site visitors are more likely to make a purchase, return to your site and become loyal customers.

From an SEO perspective, spending more time on a site sends a positive signal to search engines, indicating that users find your site relevant and valuable. Thus, spending more time on a site can potentially improve its search rankings and visibility.

For eCommerce sites in particular, increased time spent on site can translate into higher conversion rates because a shopper who spends more time on your site is generally more likely to make a purchase. When shoppers spend more time on a site they may also discover additional products to buy, leading to high average order values.

However, increased time spent on site is sometimes not a positive. For instance, you want shoppers to quickly find what they are looking for. You don’t want them to spend a long time on your site searching for something specific and then leaving because they couldn’t find it. The optimal goal is instead to help them easily find what they’re looking for and, at the same time, provide a pleasant experience that makes them want to engage more with your site, discover and buy additional products and, of course, return another time.

In addition, higher time spent on site and higher user engagement and interaction enable you to capture valuable data on user preferences and behavior, providing insights into further optimizing site performance and improving the customer experience.

How to increase session duration and time on site

Retailers and brands can significantly increase the time shoppers spend on their eCommerce sites by focusing on the user experience, developing great content, and investing in personalization and digital engagement tools. There are several strategies to increase session duration and time spent on site – here are 10 of our favorites:

1. Enhance site performance and UX. Site speed and page loading times must be optimized to avoid frustration and keep shoppers from bouncing. Simplify navigation so shoppers can easily find what they are looking for, and design your site to strategically entice shoppers to keep wanting more.

2. Optimize for mobile. Shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices for online shopping and exhibiting very different browsing habits. Mobile sessions are 60% shorter than desktop sessions and view fewer pages. Mobile visitors tend to make more yet shorter visits—also known as grazing—and retailers and brands should, therefore, focus on the mobile experience beyond responsive site design and speed.

3. Elevate product descriptions. It may seem basic but detailed product descriptions that clearly communicate features and benefits can significantly boost customer experiences. High-quality images are table stakes and product videos have proven to significantly boost engagement. Capture shopper attention by highlighting key product attributes upfront with eXtended Messaging.

4. Deliver great content. Beyond product descriptions and quality images, relevant and interesting content like blogs, lifestyle videos, how-to guides, tutorials, and even user-generated content can greatly enhance the customer experience and lead to increased time spent on the site. Also, leverage internal links to different sections of your site and clear CTAs to encourage shoppers to visit more pages and stay longer.

5. Personalize experiences. By leveraging browsing history, purchase, or other customer data, retailers and brands can deliver personalized recommendations, relevant content, and offers that make the shopping experience more relevant and engaging for the individual customer.

6. Include social proof. Retailers and brands like Fabletics and Living Spaces, capture shopper attention and create more dynamic shopping experiences by showcasing what other shoppers are viewing and buying in real-time with social proof messaging.

Living spaces website showing sofas with social proof messaging

7. Make it interactive. There are many exciting digital tools available that enable retailers and brands to deliver highly personalized and interactive experiences. For instance, virtual try-on tools simulate the engagement a shopper would have with a product in a store, while interactive quizzes and guided selling help shoppers find relevant products while delivering engaging experiences that entice them to stay longer.

8. Leverage engagement tools. Make it easy for shoppers to interact with your brand in real-time through live chat or even chatbots. User-generated Q&As and user communities also present a great way for shoppers to interact.

9. Implement loyalty programs and gamification. Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for spending time on the site as well as making purchases. Introduce gamification features such as points and badges for engagement and develop contests or games that encourage shoppers to engage more with the site.

10. Keep your site updated and fresh. Ensure you frequently update your site with new arrivals and fresh content. Use real-time data to dynamically highlight trending and bestselling products to automatically keep the site fresh.

Fabletics website with bestseller messaging

Keep visitors on your eCommerce site

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can create a more engaging, personalized, and enjoyable shopping experience that encourages shoppers to spend more time on your site, discover a wider range of products and ultimately increase conversions and sales.

Retailers and brands invest in social proof messaging because it is proven to deliver significant conversion rate uplifts, but also because it is an effective solution for quickly creating more dynamic experiences that elevate engagement and increase time spent on site and session duration.

Click through to learn more about Taggstar’s social proof messaging solution and eXtended messaging, and see how brands and retailers across fashion, home, beauty and more are growing their businesses with social proof.

Want to know how much revenue we will
deliver for you?

Calculate the impact social proof will have on
your conversion rate and revenue.