According to a new study from Yesmail Interactive, the proportion of consumers interacting with email on smartphones or tablets alone hit 50% in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Yesmail, analysis of 6.4 billion emails sent in Q4 across different industries, showed that the percentage of consumers interacting with email exclusively on mobile devices generated mobile sales at triple the rate of desktop sales (52% vs. 18%), and the number of mobile orders went up by 58%.
Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing concludes that “… mobile should be marketers’ primary focus… the increase in mobile sales indicates that consumers are not only… comfortable with mobile… but more comfortable with immediately acting on emails opened on a mobile device…”
Growth in mobile conversion rate (orders compared to clicks) outpaced the desktop conversion rate by more than two to one. One in five purchases driven by email happened on a mobile device (18% compared to 82% for desktops). Of these mobile orders, 59% took place on a tablet and 41%, on a smartphone.
Mobile email opens and clicks showed consistent growth quarter over quarter, while hybrid email viewership continued its downward trajectory as consumers increasingly showed preference for a single platform to interact with email. Hybrid viewership dropped almost 40% in a quarter, while the number of mobile-only subscribers grew by over 60% from June to December 2013. (“Hybrid” viewership is where consumers may open an email on a mobile device and view it again on a desktop (or vice versa).
Email Opens and Clicks by Industry
Source: Yesmail, February 2014
While email-generated desktop orders grew by 29% in Q4, the number of orders completed on a mobile device jumped by 58%. Tablet orders increased by 65% since Q3 and made up almost 60% of mobile orders in Q4.
Interestingly, quarter-over-quarter, there was an overall decrease in average order value. In Q4 the desktop average order value decreased by 8.6%, while mobile went down by a relatively modest 3.6%. One possible contributor to this decline is the increase in repeat purchaser rate observed in Q4. The desktop repeat purchaser rate increased by 17.4% and mobile increased by 2.3%. While repeat purchases translate to a higher conversion rate, they can also account for a lower average order value. It is possible that follow-up cross-sell messaging contributed to add-on orders of smaller value thus, driving the average order value down, but boosting the number of orders, as well as revenue in Q4.
Interaction with email on a mobile device continues to trend upwards. While many have projected that mobile adoption is reaching the point of saturation, and is thus slowing its growth, the trending data available from the last three quarters of 2013 would suggest otherwise.
Email subscribers are now more likely to view emails exclusively on their mobile devices. In only 6 months, the number of mobile only email viewers has increased at a rate, almost inversely proportional to the decline of hybrid viewership over the same period. This extreme preference reversal can stem from a number of factors:
Q4 Email Viewership by Platform by Industry
Source: Yesmail, February 2014