IBM client web sales rose 12.1% last weekend, while ChannelAdvisor reports 13.9% growth in sales last week for merchants on Amazon.
Multichannel retailers’ e-mail volume surged 33.5% in the final 10 days of last year's holiday shopping season. Data for Top500Guide.com tell which retailers set the pace and which merchants offered the largest discounts.
Retailers had a blast with e-mail marketing in the 2013 holiday shopping season. From Sept. 29 through Dec. 31, catalogers in particular boosted their e-mail volume by 36.5% over the previous year, while store-based retailers’ e-mail volume grew by 9.3%, according to a recent e-mail marketing study conducted by Experian Marketing Services.
The final 10 days of the past holiday shopping season saw a big push as catalogers’ e-mail volume grew by 26.6% and multichannel retailers pulled the trigger often enough to record 33.5% increase over the same period in 2012.. E-mail volume in the last 10 days of the holiday season across all business categories in the study increased by 35.8% over 2012.
The merchants ranked in Internet Retailer’s Top 1000—the combined 2013 Top 500 and Second 500 companies—sent a total of 9,501 promotional e-mails to customers from Nov. 1 through Dec. 13, according to a recent holiday e-mail marketing study conducted by Internet Retailer. Staffers signed up to receive e-mails from the Top 1000 online merchants and tracked the number and nature of messages that came in during November and December.
By comparison, during non-holiday months of 2013, the Top 1000 sent, on average, a total of 6,299 e-mails to customers, according to an analysis of Top500Guide.com data compiled by Internet Retailer staffers in early 2013.
Those retailers that tend to send the most e-mails throughout the year are flash-sale merchants like NoMoreRack.com (No. 202), Real Real Inc. (No. 554), or daily-deal leaders Groupon Inc. (No. 65) and LivingSocial Inc. (No. 119), which rely heavily on e-mail to drive home the limited-time nature of their online sales.
The same was true during the holidays, as LivingSocial sent the most e-mails of all Top 1000 retailers—68 during the Nov. 1-Nov. 27 period. NoMoreRack sent the second highest number at 56, Real Real sent 52, and Groupon sent 51 e-mails to customers.
Among the Top 1000 catalogers who have e-mail marketing programs, Jewelry Television (No. 185) sent the most non-holiday missives, averaging 44 per month, and Chelsea & Scott Ltd., which sells baby and toddler products (No. 306), sent the second-most per month at 34. Retail chains that sent the most non-holiday e-mails were department stores. The Bon Ton Stores Inc. (No. 475) sent 71 per month and Von Maur Inc. (No. 728) with 50.
During the holidays, percent-off deals were the most common enticement to get recipients to visit an e-commerce site. 255 (47%) included discounts ranging from 5% to 93% and another 87 Top 1000 retailers (16%) offered unspecified discounts. Another 133 (24.4%) sent e-mails during the holidays but offered no discounts or any other incentives.
The largest November percent-off discounts came from Christianbook.com LLC (No. 480) at 93% and e.l.f. Cosmetics (No. 488) at 92%. The deepest dollar discounts were offered by Office Depot Inc. (No. 7) at $220 and West Marine Products (No. 30) at $250.
Of the 532 retailers that send e-mails to customers in December, 339 (63.7%) included discounts ranging from 5% to 91%. Another 30 Top 1000 retailers (5.6%) mentioned but didn’t identify the discount, and 107 (20.1%) did not mention a discount or any other incentive. The remaining e-mails offered free shipping (by 24 e-retailers, or 4.5%), dollars off ranging from $5 to $1,000 (by 16 or 3%) and a free gift (by 16 or 3%).
December e-mail percentage discount leaders were 91% off by Jomashop.com (No. 226) and six web retailers including e.l.f. Cosmetics offering 90% off. The greatest dollar-discounts were in e-mails from Helzberg Diamonds (No. 722) at $1,000 and appliance and electronics chain Conns.com (No. 542) at $600.
E-mail marketing and other key 2013 e-commerce data is now being gathered for the next editions of the Top 500 and Second 500 guides and will be available later this year on Top500Guide.com database.
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