The answer to this question can vary, depending on who you ask. While some people are quick to lament about the death of retail, others stand firm on the belief that retail is alive and well.
If you find yourself asking this very question, a good starting point would be to look at the most recent retail trends and data. It’s hard to argue with numbers, and having the right stats will give you an unbiased view of what’s really going on in retail today.
Retail data and statistics in 2018
Ready to get started? Here are 30 retail facts and stats to help you determine the current state of the industry. Most of these figures are from Vend’s Retail Benchmarks Report, but we sprinkled in some statistics from other sources as well.
Note: All stats are from Vend, unless stated otherwise.
What’s the average monthly revenue of SMB retailers?
1. The average monthly revenue of an SMB retailer is $22,340.88 (USD)
2. Looking at the data from a regional perspective, it looks like retailers from Australia and New Zealand made a bit more, with $26,395 and $26,475 respectively.
3. North American retailers made $22,430, while those in the UK had a monthly revenue of $19,223 per store.
4. Furniture retailers typically have the highest revenues — $39,572.67 per month.
5. Cosmetics stores, on the other hand, typically see an average of $18,644.19 revenues per month.
What’s the average gross margin of SMB retailers?
6. The average gross margin in retail is 50.96%
7. Beverage manufacturers typically have the highest margins (60.68%), followed by cosmetics stores (57.94%) and jewelry (56.80%)
How many transactions do SMB retailers process per month?
8. The retailers in our study processed an average of 482 transactions per store each month.
9. Retailers in New Zealand processed the most number of sales with 603.03 monthly transactions per store. Not so far behind was the UK with 590.85 transactions, while Australian and North American retailers processed 506.09 and 429.41 monthly transactions respectively.
10. Alcoholic beverage stores processed the most number of sales, with 963.11 monthly transactions. They were followed by specialty food retailers and beverage manufacturers, with 806.79 and 589.32 monthly transactions respectively
11. On the lower end, we had furniture stores (151.89), jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores (190.11) and shoe stores (220.85)
What is the average transaction value in SMB retail?
12. How much was each transaction worth? According to our data, the average transaction value in retail is $53.98.
13. Australian retailers had the highest transaction value ($56.80) while retailers in the UK had the lowest ($40.65).
14. Furniture retailers had the highest transaction value ($248.42). They were followed by jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores ($126.87) and shoe stores ($111.44).
15. Specialty food stores had the lowest transaction value with $22.88, followed by beer wine and liquor stores with $33.12.
What is the average basket size in SMB retail?
16. We also looked at basket size, which is the number of items in each sale. On average, the retailers in our study had a basket size of 2.73.
17. Beverage manufacturers had the highest with 3.77 items, followed by specialty food retailers and alcoholic beverage stores with 3.71 and 3.39 respectively.
18. Shoe stores had the lowest basket size (1.54) followed by jewelry, luggage and leather goods (1.81) then fashion and accessories (1.97).
How much does ecommerce account for in total retail sales?
19. As of March 31, 2018, US ecommerce sales as a percent of retail sales was 9.46%. [US Census Bureau]
How many customers do SMB retailers have in their database?
20. Retailers had an average of 487.96 customers in their database.
21. North American retailers seemed to be the best at collecting customer information; they had an average of 606.28 customers in their database. On the other end are retailers in the UK, with 376.67.
22. Beauty and cosmetics retailers had the most number of customers in their database by a wide margin — 1,121.96.
23. On the low end were office supplies, stationery, and gift stores (284.62), beverage manufacturers (331.68) and speciality food stores (367.65).
What do retailers plan to invest in for their stores?
24. A study by the NRF and Forrester found that 65% of retailers plan to increase their investments in new product assortments. [THE STATE OF RETAILING ONLINE 2018]
25. Meanwhile, 61% of retailers plan to increase their investments in their store associates. [THE STATE OF RETAILING ONLINE 2018]
26. And 53% of retailers plan to increase their investments in their store design for increased engagement, while 51% are looking to increase their investments in store design for showcasing products. [THE STATE OF RETAILING ONLINE 2018]
How do consumers conduct research before buying?
27. According to the NRF, 65.1% of consumers occasionally seek advice before buying. 15% said they do it regularly, while 19.9% said they never do it. [NRF]
28. Of those who seek advice 67.5% said they do it through face-to-face communication. 34.7% read product reviews and 26.7 rely on text messaging. [NRF]
29. When asked about whether they research a product online before purchasing in-store, 53.5% of consumers said they do it occasionally. 34% said they do it regularly, while 12.5% said they never do it. [NRF]
30. The top categories that shoppers research before buying are electronics (34.8%), apparel (28.7%), and appliances (23.4%) [NRF]
Hope you found these facts and stats interesting? Did anything surprise you? Got others stats to add? Let us know!
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.