Email and Retail: Will the Trend Continue Downward?

Email and Retail Will the Trend Continue DownwardSadly for retail emailers, the average revenues per email, as well as average order values, are down at the moment.

As reported by eMarketer, “Figures from Experian Marketing Services show retail email metrics were down in Q2 2015 for messages sent on its network.”

The few bright spots between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015, include an increased click rate and click-to-open rate. Unique clicks were down, along with transaction rates, while the bounce rate went up by double digits.

Let’s talk revenues. Measured per email, they were down 14.9 percent, and average order values dropped by 11.8 percent over the period.

“Other sources, however, report that retailers were seeing higher revenues from email between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015,” noted eMarketer. “MarketLive reported the share of U.S. retail ecommerce revenues attributable to email traffic went up 14.1 percent over the year, to 14.5 percent of the total.”

But data courtesy of Custora disagrees. The company reported a decrease in the share of revenues due to email among transactions on its platform.

“In Q1 2014, email accounted for 17.8 percent of revenues on the Custora platform. That share dropped through 2014 until Q4, when it rose again — likely due to heavy promotions during the holiday season,” according to eMarketer. “But by Q1 2015, it was lower than ever before, and continued to drop.”

The death knell for email? It could be that — like the reports of Mark Twain’s death — any such pronouncement is premature.

But as mobile matures — and includes more Buy Buttons and calls to action — email could suffer as a result. Then again, sellers are suffering across the board, as any honest exec at Amazon or eBay or a host of other online retailers would admit.

Could it be a case of “ITES” — as in “It’s the Economy, Stupid?” Or email’s faltering significance as desktops grow dusty and mobile takes over?

The jury is still out. And we’ll keep you posted.