Email Helps Drive Retail Purchases, Study Finds

Email ranks as highly as TV as a way to plant to seed in the minds of retail shoppers, according to Building Loyalty With Dynamic Shoppers, a study by Valassis. 

Of 1,200 consumers surveyed, 29% apiece say TV and emails give them their initial ideas. These channels beat direct mail (28%) and coupons (25%).

For planned purchases, email is third, tied with in-store promotions at 21%. It is beaten by coupons (42%) and direct mail (25%).

Email also ranks third for unplanned purchases -- relied on by 17%. In-store promotions come in first (36%), with coupons second (26%).

When asked what will drive them to visit a new store or website, 26% say they are motivated by receiving an mail after visiting the website. But 47% are motived by receiving an offer, and 28% by receiving an ad in both print and digital. 

Two-thirds of millennial parents say they often make purchases at work after receiving an email, online ad or mobile notification from a retailer. But 74% like to shop on their lunch breaks or after work at stores close to their jobs.

Valassis also found that 30% shop for apparel/shoes at least once a month, 25% for home improvement items, 21% for home décor and 17% for electronics/appliances. The numbers are higher for millennials, and higher still for their parents.

No single medium is enough — 30% need to see a retailer’s ad in print and online several times for it to register. The percentage rises to 41% for millennials and 49% for millennial parents.

In addition, 44% report that print ads motivate them to purchase from a retailer online. The percentage rises to 72% among millennial parents. And 73% read print ads/or inserts from retailers. 

Among the entire sample of consumers surveyed, 73% say they can be swayed — as new prospects — to buy by advertised promotions and sales  

Meanwhile, 76% demand that their privacy must be protected. And 55% request that retail brands interact with them through their preferred communication channel. That rises to 67% among millennials and 75% for millennial parents. 

In addition, 73% expect brands to reward them with personalized discounts and special offers. 

Overall, 34% of shoppers have one preferred retailer for each purchase category, and that goes up to 47% for millennials and 57% for millennial parents.

And it pays to be proactive — 73% shop at retailers that have reached out to them throughout the year. 

The study also found that parents are more open to new retailers during holidays and back-to-school periods. 

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