There seems to be a lot of conversation around how accepting Bitcoin will give retailers a huge spike in sales from customers loyal to Bitcoin as a payment. All you have to do is read up on the successes of Overstock.com’s $130,000 from 840 orders on their first day, and you can’t help but start to think you’re just sitting on a huge potential in incremental revenue if you accept Bitcoin.
We partnered with Coinbase started accepting bitcoin as a payment option on 3/31/14. Our results are no where close to what Overstock has seen. However, that doesn’t mean we made a bad decision. The primary reason to launch a new feature would be to enhance the customer experience. If customers want it, try and find a way to make it happen. We thought there may be some overlap in Bitcoin users and Betabrand customers, but we wanted to make sure. We asked our customers directly and were surprised to find that about 60% said they’d use bitcoins to buy from us.
What has accepting bitcoin done for us? In the first week:
1.2% of our transactions have checked out with Bitcoin
11% higher AOS (average order size) on orders paid with Bitcoin
73% of the orders are new customers
Just over 100 social media mentions about Betabrand accepting Bitcoin
About 400k impressions from the above mentions
Now, we may be late to the game and there may have been an impact since the IRS’ ruling that virtual currency is to be taxes as property and isn’t, in fact, a currency. However, I do think the giant spikes in sales due to Bitcoin acceptance are behind us. That is, of course, until more large retailers jump in. In the meantime, keep listening to customers, asking them to be involved and don’t expect accepting Bitcoin to drive sales for you.
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