New customers spent 144% more last year than they did in 2019, and that may be because there were more of them, judging by a new report from Alliant.
Alliant's DataHub, a cooperative database, saw a 57% YoY increase in new customers across email, internet, radio and TV channels, and they placed 82% more orders than in the prior year.
Moreover, the average order amount was up 20% YoY across all channel data in the DataHub, including affiliate partner marketing, direct mail and outbound telemarketing.
On the positive side, “cancel” behavior fell, with 46% fewer canceled orders. Among new customers, the rate was 53% lower.
However, there was a sharp uptick in returns on the digital side, with new customers acquired via the internet making 78% more than they did in the previous year. In general, online customers made 50% more returns than in 2019.
Ironically, new internet customers started 2020 off with 9% fewer returns than the year before, but they shifted with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study attributes the increase in returns to the inability to explore products in stores.
Direct-mail customers generated only a 16%k boost in returns. Direct-mail growth experienced an 8% decline in new customers gained, and its total of new and existing customers was flat at 1% over 2019.
However, direct mail-sourced customers spent 18% more per order than they did in 2019.
There was a 74% increase in new customers among food and beverage home-delivery services and subscription products and services.
The average order value was up 16% for new customers in these categories, compared with the prior year.
Multichannel retail suffered a 2% lower rate of customer acquisition. Publishers suffered a 14% drop, although they saw a 12% increase in average order value.
Alliant studied trends in new customer acquisition and order size across the DataHub cooperative database.