The amount of storefront conversions, and the duration of time in stores, is up, according to Euclid Analytics' mid-year U.S. Retail Benchmarks report. Data found that between January and June of this year, retailers actually made headway in store traffic by executing aggressive promotional campaigns and retooling in-store experiences.
But despite the positive omnichannel growth, Euclid reports that retailers are still struggling to maintain loyalty—which can make or break a store. For example, struggling Sears (NYSE:SHLD) is staying afloat with the help of its Shop Your Way loyal customers, who were responsible for 74 percent of all sales in the company's first quarter.
While in-store traffic continues to decline, retailers were able to drive greater conversions and bolster average visit duration times in-store by more than 4 minutes from the previous year.
As of June, the bounce rate declined to a 12-month low of 6.5 percent, an indication that retailers are engaging shoppers as they enter the store. In addition, storefront conversation rose 9 percent from 8.5 percent last year. However, loyalty from repeat customers totaled 11.7 percent of total visits, a decline from 12.8 percent during the same time last year.
"The continued erosion of in-store traffic has been raising alarms among every brick-and-mortar retailer," said Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics. "We're seeing hopeful signs that retailers are starting to counter this declining trend and making every in-store visit count. That said, the unexpected poor showing in June also demonstrates that retailers are not yet out of the woods. Ultimately, retailers must boost their loyalty metrics and win the hearts and wallets of the mobile-savvy shopper."
In the first half of 2015, the best shopping month was April, with Monday, April 6th as the best day. Traffic rebounded after the long winter season and grew 7.6 percent in April, the only month to see growth. Storefront conversation also reached 9.5 percent that month.
The upswing in traffic was a big change after a slow start to 2015. Harsh winter weather was responsible for an 8 percent decline in sales for January and a 10 percent decline in sales for February.
-See this Euclid Analytics report
Fewer promotions, harsh weather stifle February sales
February sales decline 10% amid winter weather
Winter storms boost mobile commerce
Store traffic, sales down 8% in January
Retail traffic up 12% in April