Where Shopping Trips Start

In ADL-0007 Brian Bimm asked: “Has anyone seen any research on where consumers begin their online shopping trips?”

My favorite Net mag, The Industry Standard, published some interesting metrics a few days ago that start to answer this question.

The article gives lots of information on the effectiveness of portal deals. In short, only about half of e-commerce site referrals are from portals – the rest being from “other”.

Here’s a quote from the article:

“In the future, marketers will rely less on the major portals and more on vertical portals,” says Peggy O’Neill, director of analytical services at Nielsen NetRatings. For specialized products like golf clubs, for instance, marketers will be more interested in hooking up with a golfing portal than a general-interest portal. O’Neill says that big-name portals currently rule simply because there aren’t enough vertical portals to compete with, yet.

And people’s use of the web changes as they move beyond being newbies. In some categories the shift in people bypassing portals is incredible. For example people online for one year or less only bypass portals 34% of the time when looking for investment and trading resources. But by the time they’ve been online two years, that number increases to over 60%.

You can find the complete article, including some pretty graphs at:


(And sorry Brian they didn’t mention microwaves once!)