The Abacus Cooperative reported a modest 2% increase in total sales for consumer goods in 2013, compared to 8% in 2012. Yet, the average order value (AOV) continued to increase—driving up sales. The count of active households in the marketplace and purchase frequency was consistent with that of 2012.
In 2013, 10 out of 18 product categories in the Business to Consumer (B2C) segment of the Abacus Cooperative reported growth. The top five growing categories include Home Décor & Furniture, Arts & Crafts/Collectibles, Kitchen, Female Apparel, and Fashion Accessories & Beauty. Interestingly, two of the top five, Arts & Crafts/Collectibles and Kitchen, rebounded from historically negative growth to 5% and 4% growth, respectively. In the Business to Business (B2B) space, marketers experienced nominal overall growth of 1% over 2012, yet saw positive sales growth in 5 out of 12 product categories in the Abacus Cooperative, consisting of Ad Specialty, Food Gifts, HR Training/Seminars, Magazines/Newsletters/Books, and Tools & Agriculture which realized 7% growth
Growth by industry
Many marketers focused on acquiring new buyers to grow their market segment in 2013. Each segment faced their own set of challenges and opportunities. Here is a glimpse of some trends impacting core segments:
- Not for Profit: Donations for this segment did not change in 2013 over 2012, but overall average gift amount increased by 3%. In 2013, donors increased giving among cultural organizations (4%), environmental organizations (4%), and humanitarian organizations (1%).
- Publishing: The number of active subscribers, transactions and sales fell 5% in 2013. This reflects a change in overall market conditions. Consumer preferences are changing in favor of receiving content on electronic devices.
- Continuity: Sales for this segment were flat in 2012 and 2013. While the number of households participating in continuity programs dropped by 7% in 2013, continuity purchasers spent more and more often, helping the market overall.
- Solo: The single-product category market rose 1% due to an increase in AOV and active 12–month buyers.
- Health/Non-Pharmaceutical: In 2013, Health/Non-Pharmaceutical offers grew 2%, as a result of an increase in active households and an increase in the number of transactions per household.