2018 Retail Email Benchmark Report by Bluecore, Establishes Guidelines for Assessing the Performance of Retail Email Campaigns Based on Insights from Over 350 Million Emails
Bluecore an AI-driven retail marketing platform that brings together websites, customers and live product insights to match customers with the products they love, released its 2018 Retail Email Benchmark Report. The report, which is based on proprietary insights isolated from a sample set of more than 350 million emails aggregated across more than 400 retail clients, offers retailers guidelines for assessing the performance of their automated email campaigns and one-time batch sends.
Bluecore’s 2018 Retail Email Benchmark Report is based on data collected between October 2016 and September 2017. It establishes quantifiable benchmarks for seven types of triggered emails, as well as one-time batch, sends, and reveals key areas for retailers to refine their strategic email use.
Bluecore’s research revealed, among other things, that, while tailored efforts such as back-in-stock and post-purchase messages offer value, most retailers still limit their automated email activities to search abandonment and shopping cart abandonment campaigns and rely on “batch and blast” campaigns for general awareness.
Key findings include:
- If shoppers have seen a product they like once, they respond well to seeing it again. Customers who received emails that showcase products they have “window shopped” – viewed without taking action – or placed in shopping carts, were most likely to open these messages. Open rates for both types of efforts topped 40 percent.
- Shoppers continue to respond to product price decreases. When customers were made aware of price decreases on products they’ve displayed interest in, more than one in ten, or 10 percent, clicked through to a brand’s website. While discounted pricing does not always influence customer action, integrating product information into the email system and updating customers who are likely to be interested in decreased pricing as it happens is a lucrative tactic.
- Second looks lead to purchases. Messages that feature merchandise placed in shopping carts and then abandoned generated sales 2 percent of the time – a rate four times that of the next-most-effective tactics: price decrease notifications and dynamic emails featuring items that were viewed but not placed in carts.
- Consumers like to be reminded of food, leisure and technology. Most verticals saw cart abandonment open rates in the 37 to 42 percent range, but consumers who received messages focusing on the food, leisure, and technology categories were most likely to open emails. These categories generated the highest sales conversion rates as well: just under 12 percent of those receiving technology-focused messages and 11 percent of those opening food and leisure-related messages ultimately made purchases.
- Marketers are under-utilizing several email contact strategies. Messages that reflect abandoned items, whether those left in a cart, searched for onsite, or merely viewed, are fast becoming industry standards – roughly 75 percent of marketers use each of these types of emails. But there’s still room for marketers to do more, especially when it comes to post-purchase, price reduction, and new merchandise messaging: barely one in four marketers employ these strategies. And only one in ten use email to alert browsers that out-of-stock merchandise is available again.
“Customer behaviors are telling retailers what they need to know to tailor their communications, but retailers aren’t always sure how to translate this knowledge tactically. Our report showcases how they can integrate product-based insights into existing marketing workflows. By not taking advantage of these activities, they’re leaving revenue and relevancy on the table,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO, Bluecore.
For over three years, Bluecore has worked with hundreds of retailers across a variety of verticals to track how customers’ different behaviors and engagement with specific products directly inform the email promotions to which they’re most likely to respond. Bluecore’s integration into live product sets put retailers in a unique position to acutely understand individual shoppers’ needs and predict trends and behaviors across audiences.
Recommended Read: Interview with Jared Blank, SVP Data Analysis and Insights at Bluecore