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As businesses reopen across the nation, it's vital to understand how the retail environment is changing and how to best adapt to succeed. We want to provide you with insightful data and resources that can help your business thrive!
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Retail data and insights

We are a software company that provides an integrated point-of-sale system for thousands of specialty retail shops throughout the United States. As such, we’re observing valuable trends and insights that we want to share with you.

Transaction Volume Per Store:
YoY Change
Data Updated Through August 4 at 9:00 AM (MDT), 2020
Data from Rain Retail Software

The Transaction Volume per Store: YoY Change chart (above) shows the average change in transaction volume per store across Rain’s thousands of specialty retail clients when compared to the same day of the prior year. Year-over-year comparisons are lined up by the day of the week. So, for example, the third Saturday in March of 2020 is compared to the third Saturday of March in 2019.

  • April 15, 2020:
    Year-over-year transactions per store began to slip on March 6th with single digit percentage drops from the prior year. A week later, wide-spread cancellations of events were announced along with other social-distancing measures. Transaction volume dropped by 10% - 20% for most of the next week. The downward trend continued into the 40% range, reaching a low point on Saturday, March 28th with 64% fewer transactions per store than the same day of the prior year.

    The last 10 days (aside from Easter Weekend) have seen noticeable improvement compared to the prior couple of weeks with year-over-year drops ranging from 20% - 30%. On Wednesday, April 15th, perhaps spurred by stimulus money, transactions per store were nearly identical to the prior year – just 1% below 2019 levels.

    From what we've seen thus far, the end of March may very well have been the low point for reduced consumer spending in specialty retail stores. Hopefully, restrictions and guidance will begin to be appropriately eased, and consumers will return to more normal spending levels.
  • April 19, 2020:
    Sunday, April 19th actually saw an increase in transactions per store compared to 2019. However, the third Sunday of 2019 was Easter Sunday, so this result is due to unique circumstances with how the year-over-year calendars line up.

    With that said, the 9% year-over-year drop for Monday, April 20th is a very positive result. The last 4 weekdays all have a drop of less than 20% compared to last year. While the federal stimulus checks are likely to have played a role in this result, the consumer spending behaviors are nonetheless encouraging.
  • May 15, 2020:
    For the first time, since COVID-19 hit, we saw a positive year-over-year change in transaction volume per store on May 6th— without the support of a financial stimulus. Even though negative volatility persists, we continue to see a steady upward trend in overall transaction volume year-over-year.
  • May 20, 2020:
    On May 19th and 20th, we saw for the first time two back-to-back days of positive growth. We attribute this growth to reopenings occurring across the US, creating consumer confidence, and retailers adjusting and enhancing their business practices by doing things like improving their website and enabling curbside pickup and local delivery.
  • June 4, 2020:
    Business-day transactions are almost back to normal and sometimes surpassing previous year performance. Despite the weekends still being affected by COVID-19, the upward trend continues. Stores are seeing benefits of extra effort invested in finding new ways to meet customers’ needs.
  • June 11, 2020:
    Business-day transactions (in general) have slightly decreased again, yet are sometimes surpassing previous year performance. Despite the weekends still being affected by COVID-19, the upward trend continues. Stores are seeing the benefits of extra effort invested in finding new ways to meet customer’s needs—such as making their business fully available online.
  • June 18, 2020:
    Transaction volume continues to improve, especially for the weekends, despite persisting negative effects from COVID-19. We expect this trend to continue, as stores continue to open and society increasingly goes back to normal activity.

    How soon we’ll reach full recovery and growth will depend on how COVID-19 is mitigated as businesses re-open, what health experts recommend, and how government regulations continue to affect business and society.
  • July 2, 2020:
    In late March, transaction volume per store hit rock bottom. Now, it looks like transaction volume recovery is reaching a plateau.

    We anticipate that full recovery and growth will depend on 1) how COVID-19 continues to affect the world, and 2) how effectively businesses adapt using innovative services and technologies.
  • July 24, 2020:
    Since COVID-19 hit in late March, we have seen an oscillating pattern of progression and digression in transaction volume per store. However, the good news is that, since hitting rock bottom in late March, the general trend is pointing upward both for transaction volume during business days and the weekends.

    As of this week, we have seen the greatest year-over-year growth in transactions per store since the pandemic hit. Due to the oscillating pattern of recovery, and dependency upon how the pandemic is mitigated and controlled, we continue to recommend maximizing a diversity of channels through which to connect and serve your customers (e.g. making your business available online).
Online Transactions Per Store
Updated August 4 at 9:00 AM (MDT), 2020
Data from Rain Retail Software

The Online Transactions Per Store chart (above) shows the change in average number of online transactions per store across Rain’s thousands of specialty retail clients.

  • April 15, 2020:
    Prior to the wide-spread social distancing measures, Rain’s brick and mortar stores had a strong majority of their sales occur in-store. From the middle of March to the middle of April, online transactions have grown significantly. On April 15th, average online transactions per store reached a level 3x larger than pre-pandemic levels.

    A substantial portion of the increased online transactions has been fueled by our curbside pickup feature. At this point, we strongly recommend all stores enable curbside pickup (if your state allows for it).
  • April 21, 2020:
    One clear opportunity we are seeing for brick-and-mortar retail stores is the chance to help local consumers develop habits of engaging both online as well as in-store. These habits will pay dividends even after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

    Additionally, large online retailers such as Amazon as well as big box retailers are running short on some inventory. Opportunities currently exist for smaller retailers to get the word out to their local audiences about having various products and supplies in stock.
  • May 15, 2020:
    After a dramatic increase in online sales over the past couple of months, online sales have recently plateaued. Since the average total store transaction levels (pre COVID-19) have not fully recovered, it’s vital to continue to optimize the online experience of your business to maximize revenue.
  • June 4, 2020:
    As expected, online sales are decreasing as brick and mortar stores reopen. They are still above where they were for the majority of March. Stores should continue to find ways to provide a positive online experience.
  • June 11, 2020:
    Online sales continue decreasing as brick and mortar stores reopen. However, they continue to be well above where they were for the majority of March. Stores should continue finding ways to provide a positive online experience to maximize business opportunities.
  • June 18, 2020:
    As society and businesses continue going back to normal, online sales continue to decrease. The balance between brick and mortar transactions and online transactions shifts back toward pre-COVID-19 levels.

    As many customers and stores have seen the benefits of being available both in brick and mortar stores and online, we foresee the most successful stores will continue this dual approach as societal purchase behaviors have adapted during COVID-19.
  • July 2, 2020:
    The decline of online transactions has stopped and seems to be moving back up. Even after the expected decline, current levels of online transactions remain at about a 30% higher than pre-COVID-19 levels.

    Stores must continue adapting to provide full services both in store and online.
  • July 24, 2020:
    As expected, online transactions per store have begun to trend upward. As COVID-19 lingers, many stores are seeing the benefits of having an eCommerce website. We continue to strongly recommend setting up your business online, and creatively provide touchless and convenient services, if you haven’t already done so.
Brick-and-Mortar Store Transactions
Updated August 4 at 9:00 AM (MDT), 2020
Data from Rain Retail Software

The Brick-and-Mortar Store Transactions chart (above) shows the average number of transactions per store across Rain’s thousands of specialty retail clients broken down by in-store transactions, web transactions, and curbside pickup transactions (originating on the web).

  • April 22, 2020:
    We can see from this chart that brick-and-mortar store transactions dropped in half from the middle of March to the end of March. April has seen steady improvements, and half of the transaction volume losses have been regained.
  • May 15, 2020:
    We see a recovery of nearly two-thirds of total store transactions, 20% of which are attributed to web and curbside pickup. We highly encourage stores to continue to optimize their websites and enable curbside pickup if they haven’t already done so.
  • June 4, 2020:
    Stores haven’t fully recovered the last third of total transactions lost when COVID-19 hit. However, current levels may already be back to normal when considering seasonality. While web and curbside pickup transactions are declining, they’re still providing an important contribution to the overall transaction volume and customer experience.
  • June 18, 2020:
    Total transactions have begun rising once again toward pre-COVID-19 levels, reaching a recovery of 75% of the volume lost in April. We attribute this to businesses continuing to open nationwide.
  • July 2, 2020:
    Despite the sharp decline in April, and a traditionally lower summer season, brick-and-mortar store transactions have continued to rise and are closer than ever to reaching pre-COVID-19 levels.

    It’s interesting to note that, while brick-and-mortar store transactions continue rising and are closer than ever to recovery, total store transactions depend on curbside pickup and web transactions to progress toward recovery. We anticipate this will be the case moving forward toward a new normal.
Makeup of Brick-and-Mortar Store Transactions
Updated August 4 at 9:00 AM (MDT), 2020
Data from Rain Retail Software

The Makeup of Brick-and-Mortar Store Transactions chart (above) shows the average makeup of transactions per store across Rain’s thousands of specialty retail clients.

  • April 22, 2020:
    For Rain’s brick-and-mortar stores, orders placed on the web have seen a 5x increase since the beginning of march. Of note, curbside pickup has played a significant role in increased purchases on the web. Web purchases are now approaching 30% of total transaction volume for brick-and-mortar stores utilizing Rain’s omnichannel platform.
  • May 15, 2020:
    As store transactions continue to increase, we’ve recently seen an expected decrease in web and curbside pickup transactions as a percentage of total transactions.
  • June 4, 2020:
    As stores begin reopening, web and curbside pickup transactions have gradually declined and now represent approximately 12% of total transactions.
  • June 11, 2020:
    As stores continue reopening, web and curbside pickup transactions have gradually declined and now represent approximately 10% of total transactions.
  • July 2, 2020:
    The decline in web and curbside pickup transactions has plateaued and remains at least at 2x the volume from pre-COVID-19 levels. It’s vital to continue providing services through as many channels as possible—according to customer needs—in order to keep progressing toward recovery and continue with growth
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