Does Accepting Bitcoin Drive Sales?

Betabrand now accepts bitcoin payments

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.

Aaron Magness

Aaron Magness

VP Marketing at Betabrand
Aaron has worked in retail for over 10 years with customer focused brands such as Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Zappos, Coastal.com and Betabrand. He is a proven leader with oversight of eCommerce, Marketing, PR, Social Media and Business Development. He received his BBA from University of Wisconsin – Madison with a double major of Marketing and Management & Human Resources. He ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain only five weeks before his wedding day, and luckily, he made it out alive. He is an endurance athlete, though he’s not sure why he puts himself through the pain. Aaron is a proud .0000001% owner of the World Champion Green Bay Packers.
Aaron Magness

Aaron has worked in retail for over 10 years with customer focused brands such as Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Zappos, Coastal.com and Betabrand. He is a proven leader with oversight of eCommerce, Marketing, PR, Social Media and Business Development. He received his BBA from University of Wisconsin – Madison with a double major of Marketing and Management & Human Resources. He ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain only five weeks before his wedding day, and luckily, he made it out alive. He is an endurance athlete, though he’s not sure why he puts himself through the pain. Aaron is a proud .0000001% owner of the World Champion Green Bay Packers.