Interacting With New Shoppers After First Purchase

Email plays a central role in the digital experience - not just before the conversion but what happens after too.

In its recent email marketing study, Coherent Path explored how retailers interact with shoppers in the 45 days after they make their first purchase and the insights could prove quite valuable for those retailers struggling to maximize the lifetime value of customers.

The report, "2018 Email Marketing Study: How 100 of the Top Retailers Engage Shoppers in the First 45 Days and Beyond," includes an evaluation of Email Frequency, Catalog Exposure and Email Content for both purchases as well as non-purchasers.

One of the most interesting revelations in the evaluation is that retailers are not personalizing their purchaser emails. 62 percent of the time, in fact, retailers sent the exact same email on the same day to the purchaser and non-purchaser, and only 26 percent of all emails were unique to the purchaser, despite having access to clickstream and purchase data.

The report features analysis of email frequency (retailers are sending way too much email on average), catalog exposure (retailers are underperforming when it comes to exposing product catalogs and subcategories), and email content (the use of mobile optimization improved but the use of discount and promotional language decreased). If you're planning on optimizing post-purchase email initiatives the study offers up an excellent performance baseline.

Of the100 top retailers evaluated, Wayfair scored highest with 76.7 out of a possible 100 points across all four categories. Wayfair scored highest among all retailers because they personalize a majority of their email, with 71% of the emails sent to the purchaser being unique to them. In addition, 50% of their emails contain categories in the subject line and 54% of emails have a subject line that matches the email content. When it comes to frequency, Wayfair doesn't bombard shoppers with emails; in fact, they only send more than one email a day 17% of the time.

"Personalization has gained so much momentum over the past few years, it was surprising to see how little differentiation there was in the emails sent to an actual customer and someone who has never made a purchase," said James Glover, founder and CEO of Coherent Path. "Retailers work hard to acquire new customers, and this evaluation shows that most are missing the mark in nurturing those new relationships by treating them the same way they treat non-purchasers."