Record-Breaking Cyber Monday Sales Driven by Email Marketing Tactics

Cyber Monday is always a big day for e-commerce, but this year’s numbers didn’t just grow, they broke records. According to comScore, sales surpassed $2 billion for the first time in the history of Cyber Monday, marking a 17% increase from last year.

Even more impressively, Cyber Monday 2014 was the only spending day to ever pass the $2 billion mark and the heaviest online shopping day in U.S. History.

“Any notion that Cyber Monday is declining in importance is really unfounded, as it continues to post new historical highs and reflects the ongoing strength of online this holiday season,” said comScore Chairman Emeritus Gian Fulgoni in a statement.

Cyber Monday handily beat Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, which still broke spending records. Thanksgiving sales accounted for $1.01 billion and Black Friday sales accounted for $1.51 billion. Total sales for the five-day Thanksgiving shopping period added up to $6.46 billion, up 24% from last year.

This doesn’t mean that online shopping is hurting physical stores, according to Fulgoni. It’s just changing the way they do business.

“Varying reports have also indicated weakness in the consumer economy due to flagging brick-and-mortar sales over the holiday weekend,” said Fulgoni, “But what we may really be seeing is an accelerating shift to online buying as mobile phones spur increased showrooming activity. The data we’re seeing suggest it may be more a change in shopping behavior than a lack of consumer demand.”

The National Retail Federation still called the numbers for in-store sales disappointing, but it seems online sales made up for it.

According to a predictive analytics platform called Custora, e-commerce revenue from Black Friday to Cyber Monday was up by 15.4%, with email marketing driving a majority of transactions over the weekend.

According to Custora, email marketing drove 23.1% of sales over the weekend, while free search drove 19.4% and paid search drove 17%. Surprisingly, only 1.7% of sales were generated by social media.

“Email has been given a title of ‘old & tired’ style of marketing but as you can see there is plenty of life left in this work horse,” says Don Keller of Catalpha. “Emails are effective because first, most have chosen to interact with your company by signing up for information or from a previous purchase, thus giving you the green light to contact them. Second, it can be timely, relevant and meaningful as long as you aren’t ‘over sending’ to your list. Most are likely to look forward to your emails. Third, most everyone has an email address and check it daily. And fourth, its very inexpensive form of staying in touch.

Custora also said that 30.3% of online Black Friday orders were made through mobile devices.

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