Conversion Optimization

How to Increase Average Session Time on Your Shopify Store

47 seconds is the average amount of time people can pay attention to one screen. Here are some amazing ways to improve the average session time on your eCommerce store.

How to Increase Average Session Time on Your Shopify Store

Are you paying attention?

Probably not. 

47 seconds is the average amount of time people can only pay attention to one screen.

Also, in eCommerce, the average time spent in a single session fell by an alarming 7.5%.

Consequently, as the average session time decreases, so does the conversion rate. 

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • 8 ways to improve average session time
  • Frequently asked questions about session duration

1. Add videos to offer more product information 

According to a survey, shoppers expect to see an average of 6 photos and 3 videos before making a purchase decision.

Also, one of the best ways to engage mobile users is undoubtedly through video. 

Why: mobile video consumptions go up by 100% every year.  

Through customer review videos, you can brag about your product features and benefits without hard selling. 

Furthermore, shoppers will understand your product better through customers who have used it  

See how Frank Body lets its customers do the talking for them and increases average session time. 

The video shows how to differentiate your brand from a nameless commercial one to a human and relatable one. 

Further reading: eCommerce product videos: Brand examples to learn from

2. Implement a guided selling experience

There’s a reason why some shoppers like to visit brick-and-mortar stores. Someone who’s helping you choose the right product makes it easier to shop and beats the AI bot that can offer only scripted advice. - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart 

Shopify brands can upgrade their live chat strategy by introducing shopping assistants to help visitors shop better and increase average session time.  

Shoppers are also less hesitant to give their email IDs and other details to a person rather than a bot. 

See how Lululemon enabled virtual shopping where customers can book appointments by adding basic information including email ID:

Lulumelon - How to Increase Average Session Time on Your Shopify Store

3. Improve site speed for better session duration

Research shows that:  

  • A load time of 0–4 seconds was ideal for conversion rates
  • The first 5 seconds were the most crucial and had the highest impact on web conversion rates
  • For every additional load time—between 0–5 seconds—the conversion rate drops at an average of 4.42%

There’s no shortage of things you can do to speed up your Shopify store, but here are the ones that’ll have the most impact:

On Shopify, build using a lightweight theme - While multi-purpose themes might seem like a good idea, all the unused extra features will still load in the background, slowing your site down. 

Run an audit on-site navigation to ensure menus aren’t hidden, and highlight parent categories, and sub-categories.

Compress files with heavy coding by minifying files with Javascript, HTML, and CSS to reduce the time they take to load from servers to browsers. 

Next read: Shopify landing page design: 20 amazing examples + proven ideas

4. Offer smart product recommendations 

Most customers keep returning to your Shopify store because they’ve had a valuable experience before. 

And in today’s eCommerce climate, this has a lot to do with personalization. 

To engage customers more deftly, offer up product recommendations and deals that they’d create for themselves if they had a way. 

Make use of the homepage, the collection pages, and the product detail pages to do this. 


  • Browsing history
  • Fresh products based on browsing behavior
  • A combination of offers and recommended products 
  • Bestsellers based on location
  • Your brand’s USP in the recommendations you offer through retargeting

See how Macy's offers personalized product recommendations and consequently improves average session time:

 How to increase average session time on your Shopify store | session duration
Read more: How do I boost my Shopify conversion rate? (45 effortless strategies)

5. Use exit-intent popups but don’t be annoying 

Exit-intent popups are another great way to keep visitors on your page longer.

But wait, popups are annoying, right?

Here’s an innovative approach from JewelStreet.

When they realized their highest converting page was the best-selling items, they directed their Shopify exit popup to the women’s jewelry category to take all their visitors there. 

They saved their best for last. 

 How to increase average session time on your Shopify store | session duration
Further reading: How to make Shopify popups less annoying (+ examples)

6. Collect zero-party data

Consumers are very aware of security and privacy while shopping. They hesitate before offering personal data and even accepting cookies.

When they land on your online store, if the first action includes accepting cookies, shoppers might hesitate and bounce off.   

That’s where zero-party data comes in. 

As defined by Forrester, ‘zero-party data’ is information that consumers voluntarily provide to 


See how Lancome has a 3-step survey to find the right product to encourage average session time and capture email IDs and customer details. 

 How to increase average session time on your Shopify store | session duration

Once a shopper has filled in the details, the brand offers relevant recommendations.

Lancome offers the option to save the recommendations by sending them to the shopper’s email ID.  

Also read: In-depth Guide to Shopify conversion rate optimization:Answers to 30 most searched questions

7. Don’t implement infinite scrolling on any webpage

Infinite scrolling might be easy to implement and one of the first strategies used for improving session duration. But the question to ask is ‘where?’ because not every page needs it. - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart    

Many eCommerce stores ask us - does infinite scrolling increase session duration?

It might. 

The main benefit of endless scrolling is that it keeps shoppers engaged. In online stores, shoppers are constantly engaged as they scroll through and keep getting new content. 

This increases a shopper’s engagement rate with the brand’s website and improves the session duration per shopper.   

However, infinite scrolling also hinders UX and causes a shopper to lose their place, eventually decreasing conversion rates. 

Alternatively, implement a load more button. Once a shopper clicks on the load more button, more products can appear.  

See how River Island adds a load more button with a progress bar to the product listing page. They also have an arrow so shoppers can navigate up to find products easily: 

Read more: Does infinite scrolling kill conversions? Here's what we found

8. Write content that helps in the buying journey

Just talking about your products can get boring fast. 

One of the ways to create unique content is by focusing on the post-purchase strategy. 

While shopping, shoppers need a clear understanding of maintaining and caring for the product before they make a purchase.

For instance, if they are purchasing a gift, then it’s necessary that the product should be easy to maintain or that any repairs/assistance is easily accessible.   

See how Harry Winston has the option to explore product care details on the product page: 

 How to increase average session time on your Shopify store | session duration

When clicked, the brand takes shoppers to a landing page with all the information regarding product care and different components, and the functioning of the products.  

Buyers can also request assistance by submitting a request form, and Harry Winston’s salons can help with customizations to repairs.

Read more: eCommerce content marketing mistakes (+ their fixes)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is ‘session duration’?

Average session duration is the average time users spend on your website. A session starts when someone visits a page on your site and ends when they leave your site or after 30 minutes of inactivity.

2. Why does session duration matter?

One of the metrics Google uses to rank your website is user experience. Long average session duration will let Google and other search engines know that visitors find your content engaging and valuable, which will lead to an increase in rankings.

Longer session durations are also associated with higher conversion rates. This makes sense because a user who spends a lot of time on your site is more likely to become a repeat buyer or convert into a lead.

3. What is a good average session duration?

What’s considered a good average session duration will vary by industry

A report shows that the average across all industries is 4.41 minutes. This means a good average session duration would be anything above three minutes.

4. What is the difference between Shopify visitors vs sessions?

One of the cookies that report back to Shopify analytics is a record of the device accessing the store.

This device is called a ‘Visitor’, and one device equals one visitor.

This cookie will identify the device for future visits too, so you can see when and how often a particular customer on a particular device returns to your store!

Session data tracks the nature of a visitor’s interaction with the store.

Variables such as length (time spent in the store), location of the visit, and source of referral are collected by session cookies and presented to you via Shopify analytics.

5. What is the average time on page vs the average session duration?

Average session duration measures how long visitors spend on your website as a whole, including multiple pages. Average time on page measures time spent on a specific page.

Another important difference is that the average session duration does not ignore exits and bounces. So bounces and exits often contribute very low-duration sessions to the overall average.

How can we help you:

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything. 

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors. 

And this is the problem ConvertCart solves. 

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions. 

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions. 

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