Valentine’s Day has become more than just a western holiday celebrating love and romance, but an international holiday with substantial commercial success. As a holiday, it has achieved the commercial status that’s only surpassed by Black Friday and Christmas. According to National Retail Federation estimate, the average American would spend $136.57 this year celebrating Valentine’s Day, with an overall estimate at $18.2B in retail spend for 2018. Here at ContactPigeon, we are also curious to find out how the last Valentine’s Day fared for our eCommerce customers1. Here are the key findings from 2018 Valentine’s Day infographic on the email marketing and eCommerce data.
Valentine’s Day Infographic
Email Marketing & eCommerce Findings Highlighted From Valentine’s Day Infographic
#1 Spending for Valentine’s Day Increased by 20% compared to 2017
Compared to the same 24 hour period of Valentine’s Day period in 2017, there’s a substantial increase in eCommerce sales volume this year. This correlates to the overall growing role online shopping has as a percentage of total retail spend in recent years. According to Statista, global eCommerce sales have seen year over year growth rate of 24% since 2014, with an expected increase of 21.1% in 2018.
#2 Email marketing contributes to higher sales growth
Despite the wide use of email marketing as a marketing channel, retailers continue to see higher sales rate from this channel. The overall order volume has increased by 11% compared to 2017. Valentine’s day email marketing generated orders grew by 17% in comparison.
#3 Black Friday is still eCommerce King
Black Friday is still the single most traffic and sales generating calendar day for eCommerce. Valentine’s Day, while scoring higher sales rate when compared to a non-holiday, pale by comparison to Black Friday 2017 results. Sales on Valentine’s Day itself represents less than a third (27%) of Black Friday volume, while the average cart size (or Average Order Value) is half of Black Friday’s cart average.
#4 Organic visitors are the biggest source of sales traffic, while Email and Referrals generates highest Average Order Value
Two-thirds of Valentine’s Day orders are attributed to visitors from organic or direct sources. This indicates a higher percentage of known or returning shoppers who are aware of the brand when it comes to picking out their last minute Valentine’s Day gifts or taking advantage of the holiday sales. When examining the average order value by traffic source, Email and Referral traffics ranks higher than other sources. On average, customers from email campaigns spend €56 per order and referred customers spend €52.
#5 Top Retail Verticals Benefiting from Valentine’s Day Promotions
Top 3 verticals when it comes to Valentine’s Day transactions are Food & Beverage, Fashion & Accessories, and Beauty & Personal Care Products. Unsurprisingly, transactions that take place on Valentine’s Day are related to gifting and experiences for real-time gratification (e.g., desserts/food orders). For the 3 verticals, email marketing is an integral part of their marketing channel. Comparing across all channels, email marketing also generates the highest ROI for the 3 verticals. On average, each email sent creates the following amount of online sales:
- Beauty & Personal Care €3.36
- Food & Beverage €2.66
- Fashion & Accessories €2.34
#6 Less use of Emojis in Valentine’s Day Email Marketing
Compared to Valentine’s Day 2017, marketers use less emoji in their email subject line. Nearly half of the emails sent contain emojis on Valentine’s Day promotions versus the 61% seen in 2017. This may be a result of not so noticeable conversion results on the use of emojis. Based on the volume we analyzed, email without emojis has seen a higher conversion rate to sales at 8% compared to the one with emojis in headlines. While there’s not necessary direct causation, it shows that the overall email design, copy, and promotional offers in an email campaign plays a more significant factor in driving sales result than any use of emojis.
The Valentine’s Day infographic and observed trends simply confirm what is already known to the world. That eCommerce volume continues to grow in volume year by year, and especially during major holidays. While traditional channels such as paid advertisements, email marketing, and referral marketing continue to drive eCommerce success, seeking a way to differentiation should be a core part of an eCommerce business’s marketing strategy. Online consumers are constantly comparing your product offerings and marketing tactics with other brands they interact with, whether if the brands are in the same vertical or not. As a result, consumer expectations and standards are going up every single day. An eCommerce business has to invest in new channels and tools to keep up with the pace of evolution.
ContactPigeon is an all-in-one marketing automation platform for eCommerce. The platform was recently awarded as the “Rising Star 2018” by Financesonline.com. It’s also nominated as one of the top 100 Marketing Automation tools worldwide
1. Study timeframe is the full 24 hour period on February 14, 2018, compared with same period in 2017. We choose to limit to this timeframe for more accurate comparison as many Valentine’s Day promotions vary widely starting. As such, please treat this Valentine’s Day infographic as a snapshot of the holiday’s eCommerce results only. Data are collected from across 200+ eCommerce businesses across a wide range of verticals across 3 continents but may be biased towards specific regions and vertical as represented by ContactPigeon’s customer profiles.
Also published on Medium.