Smartphones are the leading channel for email opens. But they lag behind desktops in producing conversions and revenue, according to a study by Movable Ink.
Smartphone opens grew to 57.19% in the second quarter compared with 56.28% in the first quarter. In contrast, desktop opens marginally decreased from 29.46% to 29.29%. Tablet opens fell by less than a point to 13.53%.
But desktops produced the highest number of conversions in the second quarter — 56 million compared with 29.9 million via smartphones. And the average order value (AOV) was $256.19, versus $122.40 for smartphones.
The variances were similar in the first quarter, although the overall numbers were lower — desktops produced 99.4 million conversions and $13.1 million in revenue, versus the 55 million conversions and $2.9 million in revenue that came in via smartphones.
Overall, the first quarter saw 168 million conversions and $17.2 million in revenue. The second quarter had 93.4 million conversions and $19.3 million in revenue.
"This data indicates that on-the-go consumers still largely open marketing emails on their smartphones, but then later go to a desktop to continue shopping and complete a purchase, says Vivek Sharma, CEO of Movable Ink.
He adds: “There is still a big opportunity for brands to improve their mobile commerce experiences to drive revenue at that initial touchpoint.”
Movable Ink studied 10.7 billion emails that it powered from January to June of this year.
The company also examined several sectors, which together produced 106.5 million conversions in the first quarter and 81.9 million in the second quarter.
Why the drop-off in conversions in this group from quarter to quarter? It could be that the first quarter included post-holiday shopping (i.e., post-Christmas sales, gift card purchases on cards received by email during the holidays). But those are guesses.
The non-apparel retail produced the highest number of conversions in both quarters — 52.4 million in the first quarter and 24.6 million in the second quarter. Its AOV was relatively low: $72.33 in Q1 and $188.14 in Q2.
Media & entertainment generated a $1,062 AOV in the first quarter and $1,362 in the second quarter, based on less than 2 million conversions in each quarter.
Travel and hospitality operators achieved only 8 million conversions in the first quarter, but had an $835.43 AOV. In the second quarter, it enjoyed 7.7 million conversions an AOV of $958.80.
Retail apparel generated 18.8 million conversions in the first quarter, and an AVO of $110.77. In the second quarter, it had 22 million conversions and an AOV of $135.18.
Non-profit emails snared 99,863 conversions in the first quarter and an AOV of $59.05. In the second quarter, the results were 136,788 conversions and a $39.71 AOV.
Sharma concludes that “marketers need to focus on making sure that they are engaging consumers with consistent messages across all channels, and that the overall experience (offer, image, text) remains seamless as consumers move from email to web—no matter when they re-open or click through to make a purchase."