Time On Page Measurement For Ecommerce — SwiftERM

David Swift
6 min readApr 2, 2024

Time on page measurement refers to the amount of time a user spends on a particular page of your website before navigating to another page or exiting the site altogether. Consider how long you look at a product before buying it, or not, and how this could be a significant indicator of the interest that person has for that specific SKU. This metric can be especially important in ecommerce, where a longer time on a product or checkout page may indicate a higher level of engagement and a greater likelihood of conversion.

The Google Analytics metric is calculated by subtracting the time a user lands on a page from the time they navigate away from that page. If a user exits your site without visiting any other pages, their time on page is equal to the total time they spent on your site.

The importance of time on page measurement for ecommerce

Time on page can be a valuable metric in a number of ways. A longer time on page can indicate that a user is more engaged with your site and more likely to make a purchase. By contrast, a shorter time on page may suggest that users are not finding what they’re looking for or are experiencing frustration with your website’s design, functionality or worse relevancy.

For example, let’s say you run an online clothing store. If a user spends a long time on a product page, it could mean they are carefully examining the item and considering a purchase. On the other hand, if they quickly navigate away from the page, it could indicate that they didn’t find the information they were looking for or that the product didn’t meet their needs.

A professional AI algorithm doesn’t take this at face value however, as each individual person’s foibles vary enormously. “One man’s meat…is another man’s poison”. But in relation to what length of time that individual spends on that product, considered against the number of times that individual returns to that product, can have a huge bearing. Especially when weighed against the equivalent data for purchases made.

Understanding time on page can also help you identify areas of your website that may need improvement. For instance, if users are spending very little time on your checkout page, it could suggest that the process is confusing or difficult to navigate. By making changes to improve the user experience, you may be able to increase the amount of time users spend on your site and ultimately boost your conversion rates.

Factors affecting time on page

A number of factors can impact how much time users spend on your site. These include the content and design of your site, is it cluttered and disjointed, the quality of your products or services — is the photograph specific, and appropriately centred and clear, the ease of your checkout process, and the overall user experience your site provides.

For instance, if your website is cluttered and difficult to navigate, users may become frustrated and leave quickly. Similarly, if your product descriptions are unclear or incomplete, users may spend more time trying to find the information they need, which can lead to a longer time on page but also a less satisfying user experience.

Many start-ups doesn’t don’t have the opportunity haven’t had the opportunity to appreciate, exactly — as in life, you get what you pay for. You can’t hope to earn thousands, if not millions, per month from your site if you spend merely a few quid on implementing it. A basic rule of thumb being the more your spend the better it is. A professional platform isn’t cheap; invest wisely, but at heavens sake invest. Consider your choice of platform carefully.

Likewise the operational value of your site. There are many supporting software programs — SaaS plugins, which define the future of ecommerce, and yet many are wholly unaware of what the future is likely to entail, despite some of the worlds most renown entrepreneurs advising them, let alone what they need to be equipped with to succeed in it.

Measuring time on page

There are a variety of tools available for measuring time on page in ecommerce. the data itself is useless unless you can use it. Solutions, such as SwiftERM hyper-personalisation of email content, enable the live use of that data to put exactly the products each individual consumer is most likely to purchase next in front of them at exactly the right time.

Alternative tools for tracking time on page

While Google Analytics is an excellent choice for most e-commerce businesses, there are other tools that can provide more in-depth time on page metrics. Tools like Crazy Egg, Hotjar, and Mouseflow offer heat maps and session recordings that allow you to see exactly how users are interacting with your site and where they’re spending the most time.

Interpreting time on page metrics

When interpreting your time on page metrics, it’s important to consider a number of factors. On product pages, for example, a longer time on page may mean that users are carefully considering their purchase decision. However, not necessarily, as distractions are commonplace while the page is open, so needs to be balanced within that individual consumer’s parameters.

On other pages, a shorter time on page may indicate that users are simply browsing your site and not actively engaged in the content. Understanding the context of your time on page metrics can help you make more informed decisions about how to improve your site’s user experience and ultimately increase conversions.

Strategies to increase time on page

Now that we’ve explored the importance of time on page, let’s take a look at some strategies you can use to increase this important metric.

Improving the CRO of your site

Your site’s design and user experience — Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a critical factor in determining how long users will spend on your site. But be aware that between it and personalisation you have to know which take precedence. Make sure your site is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimised for all devices. Conduct user testing and gather feedback to ensure your site is meeting the needs of your users.

Creating engaging and relevant content

Make sure your product descriptions are informative and engaging, and consider incorporating multimedia elements like videos and images to help users better understand your products. Consider creating a blog or other content marketing strategy to keep users engaged and coming back to your site.

Optimising product pages and descriptions

Product pages are where the magic happens in ecommerce, so make sure your product pages are optimised for conversions. Use clear, high-quality images and make sure your product descriptions are informative and persuasive. Consider including customer reviews and ratings to provide social proof and build trust with potential customers.

Don’t be afraid of content copy. Human nature is such that interest is stimulated by being able to know more about your products. This is mirrored by the SEO engines, as by providing copy for people to get their teeth into is identified by the search-engines, moving that product page every higher in the rankings.

Utilising multimedia and interactive elements

Users love multimedia and interactive elements like videos, image galleries, and product configurators. Consider incorporating these elements into your site to increase engagement and keep users on your site longer.

Time on Page and Conversion Rates

Finally, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between time on page and conversion rates.

The Relationship Between Time on Page and Conversions

While a longer time on page does not always equate to more conversions, there is a correlation between time on page and conversion rates. Users who spend more time on a product or checkout page are often more engaged and more likely to make a purchase. By contrast, users who spend very little time on your site are unlikely to convert.

Identifying and Addressing Problem Areas

If you notice that users are spending very little time on a particular page of your website, it may signal a problem area that needs to be addressed. Consider making changes to the design or content of the page and monitoring your time on page metrics to see if your changes result in a significant improvement. likewise don’t flog a dead horse, you need to consider how long you champion a cause, if there are few sales coming with it. Keep an eye on trends and by all means forge a niché, but make it with the bounds of reality — that being sellable product.

Conclusion

Time on page is a critical metric for ecommerce businesses, indicating user engagement and providing important insights into potential problem areas on your site. By focusing on site design, content, user experience and relevancy, ecommerce businesses can increase their time on page metrics and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Originally published at https://swifterm.com on April 2, 2024.

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David Swift

SwiftERM hyper-personalisation SaaS for ecommerce email marketing.