$0.43: The value of a minute on your website

$0.43: The value of a minute on your website

Summary: What is the value of a minute? Find out what time and visits to a website are really worth.


I recently wrote about the young company that finally solved the Facebook 'Like' problem. SumAll just announced a data analysis tool allowing customers to place a monetary value on their website traffic. By closing the loop, and linking traffic and transactional data, customers are able to value a site visit and the revenue of a minute spent browsing.

The new tool allows you to view time on site, plus revenue through Google Analytics and draw a correlation between the two. According to the data reviewed by SumAll, the median value of a minute spent browsing an e-commerce store is worth $0.43 compared to a customer visit, which has a median value of $1.30.

Surprisingly, the variation in value per minute is less than that of a unique visitor; a more reliable indication of revenue.

$0.43: the median worth of a visit per minute.

Click for larger. Credit: sumail.com.

The other surprise for me in discussing this with research firm SumAll's chief executive Dane Atkinson, was that SumAll's research included more than 10,000 e-commerce stores and over $1 billion worth of transactions and more than 7.5 billion transactions. 

The big data research firm has created a multi-stage custom data-acquisition and data-processing engine based on Complex Event Processing principles with MongoDB backing the final reporting API. Everything is hosted in the AWS cloud for flexibility and infinite scalability.

Findings also indicate that people really are more distracted, with median time spent on e-commerce sites falling from 3 minutes 16 seconds in 2008 to 2 minutes 49 seconds this year.

But the good news is that revenue per visit has climbed 24 percent since last year, according to SumAll.

One of the most interesting aspects of this work was that while people can also spend too much time on a site, time that does not directly equate to revenue. This is represented in the green graphic below, where time spent on the site on Y-axis on the graphic below and money spent is on the X-axis. The dark green shows that the really hot time is three to four minutes per visit.

Folks who spend 14 plus minutes equates to window-shopping. There are some exceptions where some vendors are converting these customers to revenue, but these are the exception. This is surprising because the current thinking is that there is a positive correlation between time spent on site and buying.

There is also a lot of seasonally to these numbers when looking year-over-year. There is an index or benchmark that SumAll will be publishing in the next few weeks, which shows how seasonality affects these numbers. 

They looked, but no one has this type of research today. Likely it is because not many people have access to these types of data sets. Again, 7.5 billion transactions analyzed, distributed over their infrastructure churned for almost nine hours, according to Atkinson. 

"By combining Google Analytics data and revenue performance on a single, intuitive dashboard, SumAll gives the insights businesses need to maximize profits," observes Atkinson. "This has clear implications for business owners, who can now translate this information into actions that drive revenue."

SumAll provides big data to businesses through its free, real-time data dashboard. Enabling the integration of multiple data sources including Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, eBay, PayPal, Shopify, Big Commerce and Magento into one intuitive, interactive chart.

Topics: E-Commerce, Social Enterprise

Gery Menegaz

About Gery Menegaz

Gery Menegaz is a Chief Architect for IBM with more than 20 years supporting technologies in the financial, medical, pharmaceutical, insurance, legal and education sectors. My Full-Time Employer is IBM. I write as a freelancer for ZDNet.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What's the argument?

    Interesting read, I just am not understanding the scope I guess. Why is this metric better? And is it just better than only looking at site visits and average time on site?

    I understand they aren't going to tell me what I need to do to be successful on my ecommerce site, but I don't see them making an argument as to why this metric is better. It sounds like they didn't see that anyone else was doing this so they said why not us.
  • The Argument

    Thanks for the comment.

    I would encourage you to reach out to them as the product is available for you a no cost.

    To answer your question, the key point is that they have analysed a large amount of data/transactions and have found some very interesting patterns which could help you to drive revenue. While there are always exceptions, their finding likely apply to your e-commerce site.
  • Will do

    Thanks Gery,

    Appreciate your response.
  • Re: What's the Arguement?

    Hey Shettinger,

    Korey from SumAll here. First off thanks for your comments and question!

    What we had assumed when we started the study was what you suggest - that site visits and average time on site are the best indicators of revenue. What we found, though, was that total time on site during a period is a better indicator of revenue - there's a statistically significant higher correlation coefficient between total time on site and revenue than total visits and revenue, unique visits and revenue, or average visit length and revenue. This wasn't something that we were expecting and, as far as we can tell, goes against the common wisdom.

    You know your specific business better than we do, but if you're only going to look at one GA number odds are that total time on site of all customers during a period (a day, week, month, etc.) is the best predictor of your gross revenue.

    Feel free to shoot us an email if you have additional thoughts - support@sumall.com