October 14th, 2012 | 2 MIN READ

Email and Social Habits of Holiday Shoppers [Research]

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Email marketing software provider Yesmail Interactive conducted an interesting study, combining a consumer survey on general and holiday shopping habits with analysis of the digital marketing campaigns (email and social) of 20 of the top ecommerce brands in the US.

Over 500 consumers were surveyed for Consumer Online Behavior Report: Developing Informed Digital Marketing Strategies for Holiday Success about general shopping habits and holiday-specific ones. Ecommerce brands studied include traditional retail like Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Crate and Barrel, Dell, JC Penney, Macy's, Nordstrom, Sears and Walmart, and telecoms Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

The following are Tweetable findings from the report:

  • 7 of 10 surveyed report they will spend the same or more this holiday season versus 2011 Click to Tweet
  • More than 41% of mobile device owners have purchased in response to a email promotion viewed on mobile Click to Tweet
  • 1/3 of top ecommerce brand emails linked to a non-mobile optimized landing page Click to Tweet
  • Only 8% of Facebook and 4% of Twitter campaigns included discounts and offers, though consumer survey found social media promos drove 34% of shoppers to make a purchase Click to Tweet
  • Almost 40% of online shoppers prefer to buy online between 6 and 10pm, only 5% of email campaigns delivered in peak hours Click to Tweet
  • Almost 60% of consumers prefer to interact with brands on social media between 6pm and 2am but >60% of social marketing posted 10am-6pm CST Click to Tweet
  • 80% of online shoppers and 71% of in-store shoppers say email offers influence them to buy Click to Tweet
  • 62% of consumers have used a mobile device to compare web prices while in store Click to Tweet
  • Nearly 80% of in-store shoppers prefer to purchase on the weekend vs 31% of online shoppers Click to Tweet
  • Almost 1/2 consumers prefer to make purchases online Mon-Wed Click to Tweet
  • 1/5 consumers plan to begin holiday shopping at least 3mos before Black Friday Click to Tweet

So what?

Adjusting digital marketing strategies to current consumer trends (rather than historical data) is important. This study highlights the need for mobile optimized campaigns, and the importance of campaign delivery timing. While interesting, remember that averages are just that - depending on your business (and customer demographics and psychographics), your optimal times for email and social posting may vary. Why not test timing in the run up to the holiday rush?

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