E-retailers must focus on their specific goals and examine a vendor’s reputation and market expertise, not referrals.
The E-tailing Group finds that most retailers also introduce products via e-mail.
Retailers use e-mail marketing messages most often to gain incremental revenue, persuade consumers to purchase more regularly, introduce products and boost loyalty, suggest survey results released today by The E-tailing Group, a research firm that focuses on online retailing.
The findings are part of the firm’s 10th Annual Merchant Survey and are based on first quarter surveys of 200 respondents involved in e-commerce. Asked to rate their top use of e-mail, 91% of respondents said to drive incremental revenue; 89% said to increase purchase frequency; 81% said to introduce products; and 80% said to improve loyalty.
The report also highlights how several web merchants in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide have used their e-mail marketing messages to further those aims.
• Apparel retailer Levi Strauss & Co., No. 337, offers free shipping to shoppers who place an order the same day as they receive the e-mail message.
• Beauty supplies retailer Sephora USA Inc., No. 112, personalizes e-mail messages with the name of the receipient on her birthday.
• Housewares and home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc., No. 26, offers via an e-mail a loyalty program membership for $30, which entitles the consumer to free shipping for a year and other special offers.
• Women’s apparel retailer Forever 21, No. 430, includes in the footer of e-mails links to the retailer’s blog and ways for consumers to share information about the retailer.
• Office supplies retailer Office Depot Inc., No. 5, sends out messages that remind consumers to replenish stocks of frequently purchased products.
Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in a session entitled "The changing role of the online merchant: Art vs. science."