Email volume rose by 26% on Thanksgiving and 23% on Cyber Monday year-over-year, according to a study by Salesforce based on holiday marketing activity by its clients.
The company sent over 3.6 billion emails, mobile SMS and push notifications for its Marketing Cloud customers on Black Friday, almost 4.2 billion on Cyber Monday and more than 21 billion throughout the week, it says.
Discount offers began rising on Wednesday, remained high throughout the weekend and peaked on Cyber Monday, with a 31% average discount rate.
SMS notifications rose by 159% early in the week, and email messages increased by 26% compared with the prior year.
On Thanksgiving day, there was a 23% hike in email sends and a 69% increase in SMS notifications.
Free shipping was a factor, as Cyber Monday saw 84% of orders ship for free. However, this may have dampened average order value because shoppers did not have to add items to their cart to avoid shipping costs, Salesforce reports.
Facebook and Instagram drove 94% of social traffic to retail sites, compared with 92% in 2017.
The firm’s Commerce Cloud powered 20.1 million digital orders, up 34% over the volume reported in 2017.
The most talked-about retailers during the week were Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, eBay and Best Buy. The most talked-about products were Sony PlayStation, Apple iPhone, Amazon Echo, Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle.
The company also reports that its Service Cloud agents viewed more than 68 million customer service cases, with 21 million calls coming in on Black Friday -- a 21% increase over 2017. Volume for the week totaled 497 cases and 182 million calls
Of those, 108 million cases and 44 million calls were seen on Cyber Monday.
"Consumers went online early, went mobile and went social this Cyber Week, driving healthy digital growth for retailers," states Rob Garf, VP, industry strategy for retail at Salesforce.
Garf adds: "This holiday season, shoppers responded to retailer innovation in mobile, payments and social that are enabling seamless and personalized consumer experiences—-from product discovery to purchase."