The global pandemic has undoubtedly impacted in-store traffic over the last several months as consumers hesitate to congregate, and are moving online for much of their shopping. Yet, as the pandemic progresses, we’re seeing striking patterns in our store data indicating that, while foot traffic volume is heavily impacted by the crisis, consumer behavior is shifting in ways that will make the in-person shopping experience just as relevant as ever. Here we will deep dive into our own store data to try to understand how customers have shifted their behaviors as they shop in “the new normal".
Shoppers are converting 400% as often as before the pandemic.
This drastic increase in conversion from browser to buyer illustrates how customers are shopping with intent. Our on-site staff tell us that customers aren’t there to just browse, they are visiting the store with the specific goal of fulfilling a need, whether that be to buy the perfect gift, or to add something a little special to their own week.
Customers are engaging with nearly three times as many products.
Prior to the pandemic, a customer would often visit a b8ta store, demo a few products, then head out. Post pandemic we’re seeing customers who come in with a specific need, but who then stay to discover and explore everything else we have to offer. In fact, customers are requesting a demo of nearly 3 times as many products as they were at the beginning of the year. We believe these customers are savoring the experience of shopping and discovery. They are enjoying learning about new products and engaging with our staff. We suspect that this behavior would not be mirrored when shopping for commodities, but for brands that are new, innovative, or luxury, the typical customer still wants to take their time and enjoy the experience of discovering new things.
Dwell time is up markedly.
At b8ta, dwell time is how long a customer spends standing in front of a product and engaging with either the product or the product display (which we’ve recently made touch-free!). Like the insight above, this shows us that customers are not rushing the shopping experience but rather enjoying it and taking their time to familiarize themselves with the products they’re discovering. They are reading the information on the display, exploring specifics on how the product functions, and as often as not, making the purchase.
Shoppers are purchasing more units per transaction.
On average, when a shopper makes a purchase they are buying more items in that purchase than they were prior to the pandemic. It’s clear that time spent in the store, and number of products purchased, is correlated—so as we’ve seen growth in the amount of time a shopper spends at b8ta, we’ve also seen that they are taking home more products than pre-pandemic
Opt-in is up 150%—Customers are more willing to continue the conversation.
When a customer visits b8ta, they always have the opportunity to opt into the b8ta newsletter so they can continue to discover new products and engage with b8ta as a brand. Since our stores reopened, customers have been volunteering their email 1.5 times more often than before the closure. They are savvy online shoppers and look forward to engaging with b8ta both online and offline.
The insights above seem to tell the same story—that shopping behavior has changed in favor of more meaningful discovery, engagement, and transactions. To us this is a clear sign of how retail will progress through and beyond the pandemic. Yes, many will choose to purchase their everyday basics online, but when it comes to the types of products featured in our stores - things that are unique, new, and innovative - consumers are not yet ready to give up the real-life discovery. At b8ta, we’re excited about this outlook and we’ll continue to be on the forefront of reimagining retail for 2021 and beyond.
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