San Francisco – U.S. consumers remained active in January 2014 despite the effects of bad winter weather across much of the country. In-store retail analytics provider Euclid measured data on nearly 25 million domestic shopping sessions during January, revealing that shopper traffic and window conversion showed improvement from the prior year for another month in a row as shoppers looked to capitalize on a very promotional January.
Average visit durations rebounded to five-month highs as shoppers returned to healthier browsing behavior after the rushed holiday season. Traffic in January decreased 17.6% compared to the previous month, but increased 1.4% compared to the same month in the previous year. Shopping visits grew despite harsh winter storms across much of the country and shoppers appeared intent to take advantage of less crowded malls after the holidays and compelling end-of-season deals in January. Traffic was particularly benefited from strong weekends at the beginning of the month and around the Martin Luther King holiday.
Window conversion in January, defined as the number of shoppers who enter a store as a percentage of the total foot traffic, rose to 8.4% from 7.3% the previous year. This was a slight decline from the 8.9% seen in December 2013. The trend of highly aggressive promotions continued in January and once again appeared to positively impact window conversion.
The percentage of shoppers who entered a store but left within five minutes ("bounce rate") was 10.7% in January 2014, up from 10.3% experienced in both the previous month and January 2013.
Shopping session duration, defined as the mean time from store entry to store exit, was 23 minutes in January, an increase from 22 minutes in January 2013 and 22.2 in December 2013. Active repeat customers, defined as individuals returning to a store location more than once in 30 days, totaled 13.8% of total visits measured in January, up a significant 1.4 percentage points from the previous month, but much less than the 17% seen last January.
The best shopping day of the month was Saturday, Jan. 4, with the month’s highest traffic and window conversion by a significant margin. In addition, shoppers were very engaged in-store with one of the lowest bounce rates of the month. The worst day of the month was Monday, Jan. 6, which was negatively impacted by weather and a likely “shopper hangover” following the holidays. Engagement was particularly poor, with one of the highest bounce rates seen in the month.