How important is it to acquire customers in their first session?

How important is it to acquire customers in their first session?

Site visitors are split into two categories -- new and returning. This distinction reveals a lot about the opportunity value within each visitor category. You just need to know how to dig through the data.

To understand the value associated with each segment, it’s important to know their basic behavior:

  1. New visitors: Are navigating to your site on a specific device* for the first time. 
  2. Returning visitors: Have visited your site previously** 

* If a visitor arrives on your site via desktop computer and then visit again from their mobile device, Google counts this as 2 new users.

** Visitors who have visited your site within a 2-year timeframe are marked as returning. After 2 years they are cycled back as a new visitor.

The following tutorial walks through a Google Analytics example for determining how you should segment, personalize, and optimize your customer's’ experience, based on their behavior. Watch to discover the basics for maximizing your Average Revenue Per Visitor and improving your site UX:

Video takeaways

  • There is no current benchmark for an ideal new vs returning visitor split. This is because visitor patterns vary drastically by industry and by the price point of products.
  • Your split could be indicative of how much research a customer needs to do before purchasing. We’ve seen near even splits, all the way to 90/10 splits (90% being returning users). 
  • Returning visitors tend to have higher revenue and conversion rate.
  • It's okay if you can't immediately convert new visitors to sale. Focus on capturing emails, launch targeting and retargeting campaigns, and establish a better UX.
  • If you find that your returning visitors are worth more than new, you should focus on a more consultative approach during the sales process. Help them along the buying path. Don’t offer promotions until later on in the sales process. 
  • Break down the channels to see which sources are the highest drivers for visitors to your site. Build channel specific strategies from that point.
  •  From the example above, the data tells us that if you don't convert a user in the first session, they're 80% less likely to ever convert.

How to find your user split

  1. Log into GA account
  2. Arrive on the “Overview” section
  3. Left-hand side navigation: Audience - Behavior - New vs Returning
  4. In “New vs Returning” section, scroll up to your “Explorer” tab on the page
  5. Select “Ecommerce” to view AOV, Conversion rate, etc.
  6. Get granular for figuring out on-site strategies in the eCommerce tab-view: 
    1. Under “User Type” select Secondary dimension
    2. More dimensions -> Acquisition -> Source
    3. Right-hand side, select “advanced”
    4. Click the green “Source” drop down
    5. Search bar, “sessions”
    6. Ecommerce -> Sessions
    7. Blank box -> 500 (your advanced bar should read “Include -> Sessions -> Greater than -> 500”) -> “Apply”
    8. Click “Source” column to sort sources by pairs

What data opportunities can our analysts dig up from your Google Analytics? Let's talk data.