Rollie Hawk writes "When it comes to online shoppers, conventional wisdom has long been divided. Some have argued that the instant nature of shopping from home over the Internet leads to quick purchases while others have contended that easy price comparisons on the Web allow buyers to do more research first. For now, it looks like the latter camp is closer to the truth. According to a press release by ScanAlert, online shoppers are more frugal than many retailers previously thought. According to their testing, 35% take more than 12 hours to make a purchase, 21% take more than three days, and 14% take more than a week. On the average, online shoppers take 19 hours to make a purchase after the initial visit. This has some important marketing ramifications according to ScanAlert CEO Ken Leonard. "The implication to merchants is that the shopping cart is not just a convenience factor. It must be a comfort zone to shoppers. These results were not expected." In the press release, Leonard advised online sellers that "consumers abandon shopping carts with an ease that frustrates and often confuses online retailers. Retailers must understand, however, that almost half of all online purchases are from shoppers who leave a site after the first visit, and return -- even days later -- to buy.""