Oct
25
2012

Hot holiday trends: week of October 14th – October 21st

Experian Marketing Services, now in its third week of holiday trend reporting, has released its insights for the week of October 14th, 2012.

This week the study finds:

  • Transaction rates continue to be ahead of those seen in 2011, which will bode well if the trend continues throughout this holiday season.
  • The number of campaigns sent on weekends has increased from 17.5% in 2011 to 19% this season.
  • Flash sales are not quite as popular as last year. To date, there have been 25% fewer flash sale campaigns.
  • Campaigns using personalization in subject lines increased from 5.7% to 7% of all campaigns to date – a 21% increase over 2011.
  • Black Friday searches continue to be on the rise, increasing 75% this past week compared to the previous week. The organic rate of traffic generated by Black Friday searches for this past week was 91%.
  • Thus far, holiday email volume is increasing YoY for catalogers, consumer products and services, publishers, and travel.

This week’s report also takes a look back at last year’s trends to give marketers better insight into how to reach their customers effectively in the 2012 holiday season.

Personalization:

Creating subject lines that speak directly to subscribers can be accomplished in several ways.  While using first or last names is the most common, other ‘dynamic content’ fields such as business or school names, store, location, products, amount of points or dollars earned or saved, or time remaining in a program are all effective means of connecting with customers.

Personalized triggered mailings have similar lifts with twenty-five percent (25%) higher unique open rates and fifty-one percent (51%) higher unique click rates.

Based on the mailings sent in the first two weeks of this holiday season, personalized promotional mailings have twenty-nine percent (29%) higher unique open rates and forty-one percent (41%) higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings.  Personalized triggered mailings have similar lifts with twenty-five percent (25%) higher unique open rates and fifty-one percent (51%) higher unique click rates.

For promotional mailings, personalized emails are generating transaction rates and revenue per email that is over six times (6x) higher than non-personalized emails.  Personalized trigger campaigns are also showing more than double the transaction rates of non-personalized trigger mailings.

Identifying online Black Friday shoppers:  Younger, middle income group and less credit-worthy

Within the Experian Hitwise U.S. panel, we identified web-users that performed a Black Friday-related search (e.g. ‘walmart black friday’, ‘black friday sales’) or visited a Black Friday website (e.g., blackfridayads.com, Bfads.com) between October 1, 2011 and January 7, 2012.

Experian Marketing Services found that the group is evenly split by gender, which is similar to the online population. Their age skewed younger, with 18-34 year-olds making up the largest share of visits and the greatest difference versus the online population. This audience also skewed younger when compared to the visitors to the Retail 500 during this time.

In terms of income, the highest concentration of Black Friday shoppers was in the $30-$99k income range

In terms of income, the highest concentration of Black Friday shoppers was in the $30-$99k income range, and they over indexed versus the online population in terms of visits from the $60-99k income bracket. This skews less affluent when compared with the Retail 500, which over indexes on visits from those with household incomes of $100k+.

Black Friday shoppers over-indexed slightly in visits from the least credit worthy groups versus the online population.

With regard to Vantage Score, the concentration is fairly evenly distributed amongst those with scores of B, C, D and F, while the smallest share comes from A, the most credit worthy group. Black Friday shoppers over-indexed slightly in visits from the least credit worthy groups versus the online population. This is also in contrast to Retail 500 shoppers – 44% of them are in the A or B Vantage Score range while just 35% of Black Friday 2011 shoppers fell within those groups.

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