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Email Driving Holiday E-Commerce Sales

Mike Sweeney | December 12, 2008

Color me surprised by the following stats released by comScore:

Source of Referred  E-Commerce Dollars by Tactic for Week Ending December 7 vs. Corresponding Days in 2007

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Dec. 1 – Dec. 7, 2008 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007

Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Referral Tactic

Source of Referral

e-Commerce Sales

2007

2008

Search

56.7%

54.5%

e-mail

11.0%

16.1%

Comparison Shopping

2.5%

4.7%

Coupons

1.1%

1.8%

Other Categories

28.7%

22.9%

I am not all that surprised that search, as an e-commerce sales driver, is a bit down in 2008.  The search space is getting more and more cluttered, cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition prices are rising, and at the same time many companies are cutting budgets.

The surprise is in the email marketing category.  We all complain that we’re getting more and more email, and most of it remains boring, irrelevant and impersonal.  While these figures may simply reflect a heavier use of email by etailers, perhaps what we’re seeing is marketers getting smarter about email.  Maybe marketers are finally embracing the one-to-one customer relationships that email can nurture if the audience is chosen carefully, the content is relevant and timely, and the overall communication personalized for each recipient.

Wishful thinking on my part?

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