March retail benchmarks: Traffic and engagement down from last year

 
April 8, 2014

In-store retail analytics firm Euclid today released its monthly retail benchmarks report analyzing shopper activity and behavior during the month of March. This month's report measured data from tens of millions of domestic shopping sessions to reveal that shopper activity rebounded from February as a result of improving weather and increased disposable income, but traffic and engagement lagged compared to last year. Based on the findings, Euclid asserts that these metrics indicate a weak outlook for industry revenues, and estimates that general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other retail sales grew by 0.2 percent percent year-over-year.

Overall, shopper traffic and repeat visits remained below last year's levels as bad weather remained a challenge for much of the country. In addition, in-store engagement was weaker than last year as a result of Easter falling later in April.

Here are some of Euclid's top findings this month:

  • Shopper traffic declined 1 percent compared to the same month last year, as visits were negatively impacted by continued cold weather on the East Coast, although this headwind was slightly mitigated by bouts of warmer than usual weather on the West Coast and an acceleration of tax refunds in March.
  • Storefront conversion was up 1 percent as a result of improved weather, an increase in disposable income, and the continuation of a heavily promotional environment.
  • Average duration decreased 3 percent from last year as the late Easter caused many shoppers to have less intent to browse heavily during their store visits in March.
  • Repeat visits increased 1 percent from February, bouncing back nicely after last month’s dip as a result of pent up demand carrying extra visits over into this month.

The best day of the month was Wednesday the 5th, with some of best customer engagement performance during March as well as a strong storefront conversion. This day also attracted the highest percentage of valuable repeat shoppers during the month. The worst day of the month was Thursday the 13th, which saw underperformance across all metrics, but most notably in traffic and average duration.


Topics: Consumer Behavior , Marketing


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