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E-mail marketing drives mobile e-commerce

July 18, 2014

E-mail marketing has done more for the rise of mobile commerce than it has for online retail via personal computers, according to Internet Retailer. On smartphones, e-mails were behind 26.7 percent of the purchases made in 2013 noted a Custora report cited by the online publication.

E-mail marketing has done more for the rise of mobile commerce than it has for online retail via personal computers, according to Internet Retailer. On smartphones, e-mails were behind 26.7 percent of the purchases made in 2013 noted a Custora report cited by the online publication.

Despite the challenges of reading e-mails on smartphones’ smaller screens, they held slightly less significance for transactions made on the more optically pleasing screens of tablets and desktop computers. It played a role in 23.1 percent of sales made on the former, and 20.9 percent of the latter.

A rapid rise to prominence for mobile e-commerce
Between January 2010 and March 2014, he report surveyed over 100 online retailers, 70 million customers and $10 billion in transactional revenue and found that mobile commerce is at an all-time high – partially due to the influence of e-mail marketing. The mobile e-commerce market, according to the report, is set to reach $50 billion in revenue by the end of this year. In 2010 sales totals hit $2.2 billion, and by 2013 had surged to $42.8 billion. A press release explained that the jump represented 1875% growth in mobile sales.

The percentage of e-commerce site traffic directed from mobile devices has jumped from 3 percent to 37 percent in four years, and the forces behind the change are unexpected. E-mail trumped social media as a driver behind mobile e-commerce, well over 20 percentage points higher than social media’s 0.6 percent share of transactions.

Segment marketing to benefit from a fragmented e-commerce sector
With mobile devices taking an increasingly larger share of e-commerce sales as time goes, the Custora report noted that in the future it will be important for retail marketers to understand how to segment their customer base.

“Retail is changing, and cross-device shopping is at the heart of the change. High-value, repeat customers are now three times more likely to be cross-device shoppers than they were in early 2012,” said Corey Pierson, the CEO of Custora.

“The fastest-growing retail brands segment their customer base, and know that different customer segments have unique device preferences, which often translate to varied product category preferences, and specific purchasing patterns.”

The report found that cross-device customers are extremely important to retailers. This despite the group being a relatively small segment of the e-commerce consumer population. While just 12 percent of online shoppers were cross-device users in 2014, that number is up from a mere 4 percent in 20012.

In terms of customer lifetime value this segment of consumers is 19 percent more valuable than an average single-device shopper. The report found that many start as desktop users, but when they feel comfortable with a brand, move on to mobile shopping, explained Internet Retailer.

In order to best take advantage retailers should segment their customer base depending on how they prefer to shop. After this is done marketing can begin according to consumer preference, driving these high value customers to shop more often.

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