A new study by internet research company, Jupiter MMXI, reveals how loyal Europeans have been to retail websites over the last four months. The German retail category retained more unique visitors than anywhere else in Europe, while Italy and Switzerland had the poorest rates...
The analysis, released this month, tracks unique visitors to a website in November 2001 and then follows them for the three months from December 2001 to February 2002 to see what proportion of them continue to return to the site each month. To make the results more meaningful, unique visitor numbers were used - counting each visitor once instead of counting the number of visits they made. November was selected as the base month because - with the run-up to Christmas - it is the busiest month for online shopping.
The European Amazon
The pan-European retail brand, Amazon, performed well in each country, holding the top positions in the retail category in all six countries for February 2002. Based on Jupiter's data it appears that the larger the reach of the category, the higher the retention rate. Brand loyalty to Amazon differs across Europe, depending on the country. Switzerland had the lowest retention rate, with 28% of November's customers still coming back in February. The UK had the highest rate, with 40% still coming back three months later. In France, however, CDiscount.com led the way, retaining 53% of its visitors over the period.
Promote, promote, promote
UK-based Tesco.com also shows high loyalty levels, with 34.5% of unique visitors in November 2001 still using site after three months. However, some other brands which performed well in the high street only managed to retain from 12% to 16% of their November visitors. Jupiter suggests that these companies should constantly promote their sites, and offer special offers and incentives.
Staffan Engdegard, Jupiter's advertising and marketing analyst commented that "it's much more expensive to find new customers than to retain existing ones, and the same is true of websites with their visitors. Website owners need to analyse where and why they are losing their visitors in order to address the issue. This kind of analysis of their customer retention at such a crucial time of the year can help sites improve customer loyalty."