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RetailNext: Fewer shoppers but more commitment in July


San Jose, Calif. – We live in an age where commitments seem to mean less and less, but consumers notably bucked that trend with their shopping habits in July 2015.

According to an analysis of July 2015 U.S. retail sales by store analytics provider RetailNext, sales per shopper rose 4.7% year-over-year, showing increased shopper commitment.

Conversions also improved 0.9%, while returns inched down 0.1%. However, while consumers who actually shopped in July committed to buying products, not all the news was good. Sales fell 6.8%, with traffic declining a steep 11%. Average transaction value dropped 0.2%, while transactions fell 6.6%.

The final week of July proved its undoing. All metrics showed consistent improvement in the first three weeks, but most dropped in the fourth week, driving negative results in areas such as sales and transactions.

Despite the generally poor final week, the highest sales and average transaction value actually occurred on the final Saturday of the sales month (Aug. 1). Traffic was highest on Saturday, July 25 and conversions reached an apex on Thursday, July 23. Sales bottomed on Monday, July 13 and the lowest traffic occurred on Tuesday, July 7.

“July continued the trend of falling foot traffic, something we’ve seen the entire year,” Ray Hartjen, director content marketing and PR, RetailNext, told Chain Store Age. “It’s clear that shoppers are visiting fewer stores when they take shopping trips. Long gone are the days of going to the mall to browse and to learn and discover products. There are just too many more efficient ways to do that digitally today.”

Hartjen added that one piece of good news is that when shoppers do visit a brick-and-mortar store, they have strong intent to buy. Conversion and sales per shopper rates have both been steadily growing on a year-over-year basis in each month of 2015 so far.

“The multichannel reality of today’s retail shows very different shopping behaviors and patterns than shoppers of just a few years ago,” concluded Hartjen. “Shopping trips to the store are much more mission-focused today. Convenience and fulfillment are key, and it’s in, out, and onto the next busy task in life.”

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