As the first major retailer to accept bitcoin payment, many have keenly watched Overstock.com; they are expecting $3 million in bitcoin sales for 2014.
Projections of the 2014 bitcoin sales for this retail powerhouse have been all over the board, and speculated by many. When bitcoin payment on Overstock first became available in January of this year, the sales were far beyond company expectations. Early projections from the first couple of months of this year had bitcoin sales as high as $10-20 million for 2014. CEO Patrick Byrne stated that Overstock originally anticipated $5 million in bitcoin sales for 2014. Other estimates, such as that of Overstock chairman of the board Jonathan Johnson, proved to be more accurate.
Even though sales were not as high as expected, Overstock is pleased with the result. Roughly 11,100 customers so far have used bitcoin for payment, including the US and international sites. Director of communications and general manager of Overstock’s Cryptocurrencies Group, Judd Bagley, told CoinDesk:
“While we’re still very happy with sales to customers paying with bitcoin, the numbers didn’t meet our initial expectations.”
According to Bagley, the international sales are far short of what they expected. They noticed “Something interesting to note is that the average sales were unusually high, on the order of $400-$500 at times,” he said. “So the few people making purchases were buying a lot, but they were very few, like four or five a week internationally.”
This would indicate sales fell sharply after the first few months, since Overstock reported clearing $1 million by early March. Even though the sales did not meet projections, Bagley is still very pleased with the value bitcoin has brought Overstock, emphasizing 50% of the bitcoin sales were new Overstock customers. He stated,
“It’s impossible to overstate how valuable this is to the company, given the high cost of new customer acquisition in this extremely competitive marketplace.”