San Jose, Calif. – Second quarter 2014 will be less of a hardship for retailers than the first quarter, which started off the spring season on a negative trend across the metrics of traffic, conversion rate and sales per store (SPS). Data from store analytics technology provider RetailNext indicates that compared to the second quarter of 2013, traffic at brick-and-mortar stores nationwide will be down 6%, SPS flat and sales down 4%.
Retailers that have seen more positive results coming out of the first quarter share two common characteristics: Retailers who have focused on differentiated products are showing more positive results from the first quarter, and retailers that have been able to close the gap between traffic decline and conversion are showing significant positive variances in same-store sales as compared to retailers that are struggling to bridge the gap.
“Higher performance in converting shoppers can overcome the decline in traffic,” said Shelley E. Kohan, head of retail consulting, RetailNext. “Meanwhile, marketing teams continue to focus on getting online customers to shop in store and vice versa. Buy on line, pick up in store increases customer spend significantly according to industry veterans who have rolled out these programs.
The rolling seven-week forecast up through May week one for sales per shopper show good signs for retailers. The second quarter will be about executing at a high level to maximize each and every shopper in the store. With consumer confidence 13 points higher in April than last year and May starting stronger this year than last year, the second quarter looks promising.”