When it comes to shopping, consumers still prefer to learn about promotions via email, and by a large margin, according to a new survey from Millward Brown Digital. After search engines, email comes in at No. 2. And 40.6% of people choose email as a tool when they shop, compared to only 27.3% for social networking sites.
Emails are more personalized, says Uyen Chand, senior analyst for retail and CPG with Millward Brown, and appeal to people because they can open them when they feel like it, on their own terms. “Although social media involves a lot more interactions, those are mostly with friends,” she tells Marketing Daily. “Email provides a more intimate and private environment.”
Emails can often provide more content as well -- including photos and videos -- whereas social has some inherent limitations, whether it’s 144 characters or going to a separate brand page, which typically involves only a brief interaction.
The survey finds that 94.6% of people would visit a retail site immediately after reading an email from the retailer.
By category, people who are buying clothes (50%) and electronics (49%) online are more likely to rely on retailer emails than the average online shopper (41%).
It’s not that retailers aren’t connecting socially. More than four in ten online shoppers are fans of between one and five brand/retailer Facebook pages, and 26% are fans of more than 10.
But only 8% of consumers visited those pages, and 22% have never visited one.
Millward Brown Digital, which is owned by Kantar, also reports that 46.2% of people receive more than 10 emails from retailers in a typical week -- with 19.9% receiving more than 30, a number that was higher than she expected. “There are people out there who are very interested in what promotions and events retailers are offering.”
In general, 41.7% of consumers say use coupon sites frequently when shopping online, and 36.8% use deal-of-the-day or group buying sites.
She says it is too soon to assess the impact of Google’s new promotions tab in its Gmail program. Still, she adds, “email continues to be hit or miss. Retailers need to push out a lot of emails, because they don't have a full understanding of what the end user is thinking when he or she sits down to look at their inbox.”"Mobile Shopping" photo from Shutterstock