THE STATE OF LOCAL RETAIL
We analyzed transactions for every day of the 2017 calendar year at 54,000 small, independent retailers across America. The result is a comprehensive look at when local retailers earn the most money, when they’re busiest, and which states make the most from patrons who #shoplocal.
Understanding this report
To understand the average day for retailers in America, we need to take a multidimensional look at the revenue performance on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. To do this we break retailers’ daily revenue into the three key fundamental metrics we’ll use to identify trends:
Transactions, or how many individual payments retailers process, give us a sense of when retailers are busiest. While it is not an indication of visitors, it does tell us how many individual payments are processed during the period.
Purchase Price, or how much patrons spend on average per transaction, is an interesting metric to track for retailers. Often, the biggest revenue days for retailers are the same days when consumers spend the least per transaction.
Revenue is the metric that most business owners are familiar with. It’s the result of the number of transactions processed during the period and the amount consumers spent per transaction. It’s our mainsail metric and the one we used most to track the seasonal impact on local retailers.
North Carolina: LOCAL RETAILERS’ AVERAGE DAY
To get started, let’s take a look at the average day for local retailers in The Tar Heel State: North Carolina. On an average day, local retailers in North Carolina process 16.3 transactions at $108 per purchase, which results in $1,755 in daily revenue. Compared to retailers in other states, North Carolina’s average daily revenue is 11.4% higher. They average 25.7% more transactions on a daily basis and their customers spend 11.4% less per purchase than consumers nationally.
NORTH CAROLINA’S AVERAGE DAY
- REVENUE: $1,755
- TRANSACTIONS: 16.3
- PURCHASE PRICE: $108
- REVENUE RANK: 11th
All told, this makes North Carolina the 11th-ranked state for daily revenue generation, which puts them between Massachusetts (10th) and Florida (12th) in our national ranking.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average week
Next, let’s look beyond the daily trends to the average sales week for retailers in North Carolina. In 2017, local retailers in North Carolina typically made $12,320 each week, thanks to 115 weekly transactions at the average purchase price of $108.
NORTH CAROLINA’S AVERAGE WEEK
- REVENUE: $12,320
- TRANSACTIONS: 115
- PURCHASE PRICE: $108
North Carolina’s local retailers’ average weekly revenue is 88.6% higher than the national average, and they process 26.4% more transactions than retailers nationally each week.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average daily revenue by day of the week
While it’s helpful to know what an average week looks like, most business owners can tell you just how different each day of the week can be for sales. To see how daily revenue changes during the week, refer to the top-center chart.
Independent retailers in North Carolina typically make $2,210 on Saturdays which is 25.9% better than their average day, and 32% higher than retailers nationally. On the flip-side, Sunday is typically the slowest day for retailers in North Carolina, generating only $1,040.
North Carolina: local retailers’ daily transactions by day of the week
To see how the number of daily transactions changes from day to day, refer to the graph labeled, “transactions.”
In North Carolina, local retailers tend to be busiest on Saturdays. With an average of 24.2 daily transactions, Saturday is 48.1% better than their average day. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Sunday, their slowest day of the week, when they only average 12 transactions.
North Carolina: local retailers’ purchase price across the days of the week
Purchase price changes are quite interesting. In general, as the week goes on, the amount customers typically pay per purchase drops to the point that consumers are paying the least they pay all week on the busiest days for local retailers. To see how North Carolina compares to the national trend, refer to the graph labeled, “purchase price.”
In North Carolina, Tuesday is the day when consumers are spending the most per purchase, averaging $125 per purchase.
North Carolina: local retailers’ weekday vs. weekend
Next, let’s see how consumer spending at local retailers in North Carolina varies from weekdays to weekends. In this analysis, we have grouped Monday-Thursday as “weekdays,” and Friday-Sunday as “weekends.”
Let’s look at the overall revenue contribution of weekdays and weekends. Over the the course of an average week, local retailers in North Carolina make about $1,721 on weekdays and $1,800 on weekends.
North Carolina: local retailers’ top 3 weeks
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that most states have their best sales week during the holiday rush, but did you know that in 2017 the week leading up to Christmas Eve (December 17 to December 23) was the single best week for local retailers in 39 states and it was in the top-three weeks for 84% of local retailers nationally? Here’s a look at North Carolina’s top three weeks:
- December 17 – December 23
- 144% higher than their average week
- July 30 – August 5
- 119% higher than their average week
- December 10 – December 16
- 117% higher than their average week
North Carolina: local retailers’ average month
Now, let’s look at the average sales month for retailers in North Carolina and how annual revenue is distributed across the months of the year, as well as how much retailers in North Carolina typically made each month.
NORTH CAROLINA’S AVERAGE MONTH
- REVENUE: $53,386
- TRANSACTIONS: 497
- PURCHASE PRICE: $108
For starters, local retailers in North Carolina average $53,386 in revenue each month, thanks to 497 monthly transactions at an average purchase price of $108.
Compared to retailers nationally, North Carolina’s retailers’ average monthly revenue is 11.4% higher, and they process about 25.8% more transactions on a daily basis.
North Carolina: local retailers’ percentage of annual revenue by month
In the graph above, we see the highest and lowest revenue-generating months for local retailers in North Carolina. This shows us that the average North Carolina retailer makes 9.5% of their annual revenue in December alone. In 2017, the retailers in North Carolina averaged $60,636 for the month. By contrast, January is typically the slowest month for retailers in North Carolina, as it only generates 6.2% of their annual revenue.
While a few percentage points may not seem that significant, there is a $20,671 difference in total monthly revenue between their best and slowest months.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average daily revenue by month
Next, we’ll take a look at the daily revenue for local retailers on a month-to-month basis. The three graphs above illustrate just how much the average daily revenue, transactions, and purchase prices fluctuate from month to month.
For example, the best month for local retailer revenues in North Carolina is December, when local retailers typically make $1,956 per day.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average daily transactions by month
Next, we see how the average daily transaction volume varies from month to month, revealing the ebbs and flows of shoppers visiting local retailers in North Carolina. We can see that in December–the month when their transaction volume is highest–local retailers average 18.5 daily transactions.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average daily purchase price by month
Which month do consumers spend the most per-purchase with local retailers in North Carolina? November. Consumers tend to spend $111 per purchase, compared to their usual purchase price of $108.
North Carolina: LOCAL RETAILERS’ AVERAGE YEAR
The graphs above give us a week-by-week look at revenue, transactions, and purchase price trends for local retailers in North Carolina across an entire year. Each flat line represents a full Sunday-to-Saturday week.
NORTH CAROLINA’S AVERAGE YEAR
- REVENUE: $640,632
- TRANSACTIONS: 5,959
- PURCHASE PRICE: $108
All told, North Carolina retailers make about $640,632 in annual revenue over 5,959 total transactions at an average purchase price of $108. Compared to the retailers on the national level, retailers in North Carolina made 11.4% more in 2017 and processed 25.7% more transactions.
North Carolina: local retailers’ year-end trends
Unsurprisingly, the closer we get to the end of the year, the higher the weeks rank for sales. The end-of-year holiday rush is, without a doubt, the single biggest money-making period for retailers across the country, as well as for retailers in North Carolina.
Notice the general trends of North Carolina’s overall revenue, transactions and purchase price as they draw closer to the end of the year. On a national level, transactions spike the closer they get to Christmas, while the average purchase price drops as consumers take advantage of holidays deals. Take a look at the revenue trends for North Carolina and how they compare to the national trend.
North Carolina: LOCAL RETAILERS’ KEY HOLIDAY SALES PERIODS
The holidays are high season for retail sales. In fact, many states make 1 out of every 4 dollars during this period. Let’s look at how important November and December are in terms of total annual revenue generation and what an average day during these months looks like.
North Carolina: local retailers during November and December
With November and December accounting for so much of the revenue generated during the course of the year, it helps to know what the “average day” during this period looks like and how it compares to the “average day” during the rest of the year.
During November and December, local retailers average $1,903 in daily revenue which is 8.4% higher than their average day. Those same retailers process 17.6 transactions on a daily basis (7.6% more than their average day). And the consumers’ average purchase price increases 0.7% to $108.
All said, the months of November and December account for 18.1% of North Carolina’s annual revenue generation and 18% of the year’s total transactions.
North Carolina: local retailers from Thanksgiving to Christmas
For many people, including most retailers, the holiday sales season doesn’t begin until Black Friday. In fact, the sales periods from Thanksgiving to Christmas is a four-week sprint for retailers across the country.
In North Carolina, local retailers typically average $2,045 in daily revenue between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s a 16.5% bump from their average day. Those same retailers process 19.2 transactions on a daily basis (a 17.8% lift compared to their average day), and the consumers’ average purchase price increases 1.1% to $106.
All told, the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas sales period accounts for 10.2% of the revenue and 10.3% of the year’s transactions for retailers in North Carolina.
North Carolina: LOCAL RETAILERS’ REVENUE TRENDS ON BLACK FRIDAY, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, AND CYBER MONDAY
You can’t talk about holiday sales without mentioning Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. In fact, they are some of the best revenue-generating days for local business owners across the country. Let’s closer look at each of these key sales days.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average Black Friday
On average, in 2017, Black Friday was the best sales day of the year for local retailers. When we ranked all 365 days of the year for the amount of revenue generated, Black Friday was one of the top 3 days for 40 of the 50 states. In fact, Black Friday was in the top 20 days for every state but Arkansas (where it was the 42nd-best) and Wisconsin (81st).
For local retailers in North Carolina, Black Friday was the 1st-best revenue-generating day of the year. Across the state, local retailers averaged $3,805 in daily revenue, which is 116.8% better than their average day.
BLACK FRIDAY IN NORTH CAROLINA
- DAY RANK: 1st
- REVENUE: $3,805
- TRANSACTIONS: 39.6
- PURCHASE PRICE: $96
Compared to the national average retailer, those in North Carolina made 23.2% more in daily revenue on Black Friday. They averaged 39.6 transactions, which is 52% more than the national average. Their average purchase price of $96 is 18.9% lower than other states.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average Small Business Saturday
It’s hard to follow up Black Friday’s monumental revenue lift, but Small Business Saturday still packs a punch for local retailers’ revenue. It’s in the top 100 days of the year for 37 states and the 15th-best day of the year nationally.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY IN NORTH CAROLINA
- DAY RANK: 25th
- REVENUE: $2,379
- TRANSACTIONS: 25.6
- PURCHASE PRICE: $93
For independent retailers in North Carolina, Small Business Saturday was the 25th-highest revenue generating day of the year. Across the state, local retailers averaged $2,379 in daily revenue, 25.6 transactions, and a purchase price of $93. Compared to retailers across the country, Small Business Saturday revenues were 18.8% above the national average in North Carolina.
North Carolina: local retailers’ average Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday isn’t just for e-commerce companies like Amazon; it’s the 11th-best sales day of the year for local retailers across the United States.
For local retailers in North Carolina, Cyber Monday was their 164th-best day of the year. Across the state, local retailers averaged $1,819 in daily revenue, 14.3 transactions, and an average purchase price of $127.
CYBER MONDAY IN NORTH CAROLINA
- DAY RANK: 164th
- REVENUE: $1,819
- TRANSACTIONS: 14.3
- PURCHASE PRICE: $127
Compared to the national average retailer, North Carolina’s local retailers made 15.5% less in daily revenue on Cyber Monday. Their transactions were 1.3% below the national average, while their average purchase price was 14.4% lower than other states.
North Carolina: local retailers’ prominent days vs. their average day
Retailers put a lot of focus and work into holidays and big-sale days. Here’s how North Carolina retailers’ prominent days rank compared to their average day.
|DAY||RANK/365||DAILY REVENUE||CHANGE IN REVENUE||DAILY TRANSACTIONS||CHANGE IN TRANSACTIONS||AVG PURCHASE PRICE||
CHANGE IN PURCHASE PRICE
|MLK day||289||$ 1,421.52||-19%||13.64||-16%||$ 104.22||-3%|
|Valentine’s Day||245||$ 1,626.14||-7%||13.79||-16%||$ 117.95||10%|
|President’s Day||196||$ 1,755.91||0%||14.96||-8%||$ 117.41||9%|
|St. Patrick’s Day||75||$ 2,098.84||20%||18.75||15%||$ 111.92||4%|
|Easter Sunday||364||$ 450.05||-74%||5.08||-69%||$ 88.61||-18%|
|Cinco de Mayo||50||$ 2,192.63||25%||19.87||22%||$ 110.34||3%|
|Mother’s Day||344||$ 983.43||-44%||12.31||-25%||$ 79.92||-26%|
|Memorial Day||229||$ 1,677.92||-4%||14.35||-12%||$ 116.94||9%|
|Father’s Day||347||$ 939.20||-46%||11.52||-29%||$ 81.55||-24%|
|July 4th||325||$ 1,128.94||-36%||11.34||-31%||$ 99.55||-7%|
|Veteran’s Day||29||$ 2,331.94||33%||23.32||43%||$ 99.99||-7%|
|Thanksgiving||350||$ 918.38||-48%||8.60||-47%||$ 106.81||-1%|
|Black Friday||1||$ 3,805.16||117%||39.62||143%||$ 96.05||-11%|
|Small Business Saturday||25||$ 2,378.97||36%||25.56||57%||$ 93.07||-13%|
|Cyber Monday||164||$ 1,819.42||4%||14.33||-12%||$ 126.99||18%|
|Christmas Eve||318||$ 1,170.55||-33%||13.89||-15%||$ 84.24||-22%|
|Christmas Day||365||$ 66.24||-96%||0.78||-95%||$ 84.74||-21%|
|New Year’s Eve||352||$ 907.69||-48%||9.82||-40%||$ 92.46||-14%|
Womply analyzed daily revenue for 54,000 local, independent retailers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for all 365 days of the 2017 calendar year. Retailers were only qualified for the analysis if Womply had a full year of transaction history and the business recorded multiple transactions per day. Category and overall state rankings are based on a composite score of each state’s transactions, average ticket sizes, and overall daily revenue.
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