Free Shipping, Discounts and Exclusive Offers Drive Online Shopping
By Ina Steiner
Yesmail Interactive studied brands such as Amazon, Macy's, Nordstrom and Walmart and found social campaigns of leading brands don't align with changing online and mobile purchasing preferences. Only 8 percent of Facebook campaigns and 4 percent of Twitter campaigns focused on money-saving promotions such as discounts and free shipping, although a survey showed that social media promotions drove 34 percent of shoppers to make a purchase.
YesMail Interactive said its survey data suggests that email promotions - such as free shipping, discounts and exclusive offers - are a substantial driver of purchase decisions. It published interesting data comparing the time of day consumers shopped versus the time of day brands sent marketing emails.
YesMail Interactive is an email marketing firm, so it's not surprising it touted the fact that 80 percent of surveyed consumers reported that email promotions somewhat or strongly influence their decision to purchase online.
But the company also had advice about marketing on social media. "During the holiday season, when shoppers may use social media to look for gift recommendations or product reviews, having community managers manning your social media channels during off hours (6pm-2am) may pay big dividends," the company said.
"Social campaigns are especially time-sensitive due to the real-time feeds of social channels, and brands need to continue utilizing social channels for promotional and sales messaging to a larger degree than they currently do. For both Twitter and Google+, campaigns deployed at night garnered more engagement than those deployed in all other times of day combined."
The study also found that 7 out of 10 surveyed consumers plan to spend the same or more than they did in 2011. And while 75 percent of consumers own smartphones or tablets, only 19 percent make purchases on those devices. However, 62 percent of consumers say they have used a mobile device to compare web prices to store prices while shopping in person.
Yesmail Interactive polled more than 500 consumers about their online and offline purchase behaviors, social media consumption, mobile device usage and more. It then employed its proprietary tool, Yesmail Market Intelligence, to track and analyze the digital marketing campaigns of 20 leading brands that typically rely heavily on holiday sales: Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Game Stop, HH Gregg, JC Penney, Kohl's, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Rue La La, Sears, Sprint, T-Mobile, Toys R Us, Verizon, Walmart, and Williams Sonoma.
The report can be downloaded from the YesMail website.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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