E-commerce grew 20% for Costco in fiscal 2015—20 times faster than store sales.
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A pointer, not an end
However, while some experts see reviews as a treasure waiting to be exploited, others caution that inclusion of Web 2.0 features, whether reviews, videos, blog posts or others, can actually send marketing e-mails off message.
“As soon as you start playing around with more stuff embedded in an e-mail, the more you are using e-mail marketing as a standalone channel, which is not what it should be,” Gartner’s Sarner says. “Retailers should not be spending time on that as much as they should the quality of the message and who they’re sending the message to. Social media can be a distraction. E-mail marketing messages must be a pointer to your web site, not a standalone experience.”