Mobile Customers Seek Holiday Offers via Email and SMS

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
Consumers that opt into email notifications also welcome SMS promotions, providing retailers with an opportunity to experiment with mobile and develop their multichannel marketing strategy.

Mobile devices have become an extension of the customer. Smartphones and tablets are now the average consumer's eyes and ears when it comes to great deals and steals during the holiday season. By signing up for retailer emails, these shoppers hold the latest offers in the palm of their hand 24/7.

But, as consumers begin to treat these tools as partners when making purchase decisions, mobile brings an opportunity for retailers to connect with their customers across channels and hone their mobile marketing techniques. As part of its recent mobile marketing study, Responsys surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers who have already opted in to receive emails from retailers to gauge their interest in interacting with their favorite brands via multiple channels.

The following statistics provide insight for marketers looking to foster customer relationships via the cross-channel experience:

  • During the holiday season, 24 percent of respondents sign up to receive emails from one to three retailers, while 25 percent sign up for emails from four to seven retailers.
  • Seventy percent of those who sign up for retailer emails are very or somewhat interested in receiving emails about online discounts, free shipping offers, and other deals, while 70 percent are also very or somewhat interested in receiving emails about in-store sales and events.
  • Almost 40 percent of those who opt in for emails are also interested in receiving notifications and deals from retailers via text message during the holiday season.
  • Those who already opt into email want to receive numerous types of offers via SMS: location-based offers (42 percent), deals and offers (39 percent), information about in-store sales and events (37 percent), invites to sweepstakes and contests (32 percent), and gift guides and product recommendations (32 percent).
  • Millennials (age 18-29) are most interested in receiving location-based promotions via text message (64 percent), while those ages 30-39 (50 percent) and ages 40-54 (42 percent) also express increased interest in SMS notifications, thus reflecting the growing adoption of mobile technology across generations.

Key takeaway: This year, Cyber Monday saw a 96 percent increase in mobile sales over 2011, proving that mobile usage is on the rise. But, as the percentage of email opens coming from mobile devices steadily grows, driving both online and in-store interactions, retailers and marketers must develop a deep understanding of their customers' needs and interests in order to coordinate highly relevant messaging across channels. By embracing multichannel techniques, retailers risk disengagement if their messaging becomes too frequent or overly redundant. Instead, marketers must create cross-channel campaigns that complement one another and capture the customer's attention at various stages of the shopping lifecycle via their preferred channel.

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