SAN JOSE, California – January 4, 2013 – As ads bombarded inboxes and TV sets this holiday season, shoppers were readying their strategies for store visits and purchases. This trend was clear, found in-store analytics leader RetailNext, as sales and traffic were consistently lower than in 2011, while conversion rates and average transaction value (ATV) were higher. At the same time, spending came late in the season, with four of the top five highest sales days falling within 10 days of Christmas and December 22 surpassing even Black Friday to realize the most sales of the season.
In total, RetailNext analyzed a total of 8.5 million shopping trips to big box and specialty retailers in the U.S. during the 2011 and 2012 holiday seasons. Key findings include:
- The number of shopping visits to stores was down a massive 16.4% from 2011.
- Retailers made the most of the traffic they got, with conversion up 1.4 basis points and ATV up 3.7%. These improvements tempered the overall decline, with sales off 3.4% YOY in the specialty segment.
- Saturday, December 22nd was a “monster shopping day,” exceeding Black Friday’s sales volume by 11%, and nearly matching Black Friday’s traffic figures.
- Black Friday saw YOY traffic down 9.2% and conversion off 0.7 points in the specialty segment; an ATV increase of 11.5% offset these weak points so that total sales were down 3.2%.
- Christmas Eve and Boxing Day were both off from the previous year. Christmas Eve saw a 1.5% reduction in sales on a 12.2% reduction in traffic, while December 26 saw a 7.5% reduction in sales on a massive 29.5% traffic drop. (The drop on the day after Christmas can be explained by the fact that last year it was a day off for many more Americans than in 2012.)
- The post-Christmas period from December 26 to January 1 rallied, despite an 8.5% reduction in traffic, to show a healthy 12.7% increase in sales. This increase owes itself to a conversion increase of 1.8 basis points and a 6.7% increase in ATV for the period.
- Highest Traffic days of the season: Black Friday, followed by the two Saturdays before Christmas (December 22 and 15).
- Days with the highest ATV: Thanksgiving Day (November 22), followed by Christmas Day.
- Days with highest Conversion rates: Tuesday, December 18, followed by Monday, December 17.
- The top five Sales days of the 2012 Holiday Season, from highest to lowest, were:
- Saturday, December 22
- Black Friday, November 23
- Friday, December 21
- Saturday, December 15
- Sunday, December 23
“Retailers cannot underestimate the post-Christmas potential. The post-holiday period showed better results year-over-year between December 26 and January 1. December 27 through 29 were particularly strong at 20% sales growth and a 2.5 basis point increase in conversion overcoming a 4% drop in traffic,” stated Shelley E. Kohan, VP of Retail Consulting, RetailNext.
“There were important shifts in calendar days this season, which impacted sales and traffic to stores. In 2011 Christmas fell on a Sunday. That led to softness on the Saturday before Christmas, (Christmas Eve) compared to 2012, when Saturday was an unencumbered shopping day with the season’s largest sales. Likewise, the day after Christmas in 2011 was a holiday for most people, but not in 2012, leading to a significant sales drop,” added Kohan.
“As retailers look forward to the 2013 holiday season, the calendar will again play a major role. With six fewer days in the season, due to a late Thanksgiving and the very rare occurrence of Hanukkah starting at the same time, retailers need a strategic plan to make up for less shopping time. I recommend a focus on increasing conversion and ATV in the earlier parts of November, especially Monday through Wednesday, which were the lowest converting days in 2012,” she offered.
To learn more about RetailNext’s holiday season data and analysis, see the November 27, 2012 Press Release: RetailNext Releases Black Friday Weekend 2012 Performance Data for Specialty Segment or visit the RetailNext Blog. RetailNext findings can be followed on Twitter @RetailNext.
RetailNext examined results for more than 780 stores throughout the U.S., across nine retail chains in the big box the specialty segments; both apparel and non-apparel. In total, the company examined 8.5 million shopping trips between November 22, 2012 and January 1, 2013. Results are based on first-hand measured data from sample stores as opposed to surveys or self-reported data. *All year-over-year (YOY) comparisons are for the same set of stores in the specialty segment only.
RetailNext is the leader in Applied Big Data for brick-and-mortar retail, delivering real-time analytics that enable retailers and manufacturers to monitor, collect, analyze, and visualize in-store data. The patent-pending solution uses best-in-class video analytics, Wi-Fi detection, on-shelf sensors and data from point-of-sale systems and other sources to automatically inform retailers about how people engage with their stores. The highly scalable RetailNext platform easily integrates with promotional calendars, staffing systems, and even weather services to analyze how internal and external factors impact customer shopping patterns – providing store operations executives with the ability to identify opportunities for growth, execute changes, and measure success.
Headquartered in San Jose, CA, RetailNext is a growing global brand operating in more than 20 countries. For more information, call +1-888-609-5877.