Email add-to-cart rates jump in the third quarter

December 1, 2015 08:24 AM

Consumers added items to retail website shopping carts from marketing emails in the third quarter, according to a new study by digital marketing firm Monetate.

Monetate data shows that add-to-cart rates through email increased to 10.23% in Q3 from 8.49% in the year-ago period, the biggest jump year over year compared with add-to-cart rates from other channels. Add-to-cart rates through direct-to-site visits and paid search ads marginally increased, while the rate for consumers coming from social networks fell slightly. Monetate analyzed 7 billion online shopping visits during the third quarter of 2015 to compile its E-commerce Quarterly Report.

There was one bright spot for social media, however, as conversion rates for traffic coming from social networks increased slightly to 1.34% from 1.29%, according to the Monetate data. Furthermore, shoppers from social channels abandoned their carts about 73% of the time, compared with 76% from email, 68% from social and 69% from direct-to-site traffic. Monetate did not have abandonment cart data from previous years.

Consumers respond differently to marketing campaigns depending on the device they are using, the report says. Based on Monetate’s data analysis, optimal device and channel pairings, on average, are:

  • Direct-to-site marketing on desktops result in a 12.3% add-to-cart rate, 4% conversion rate and a $124.30 average order value.
  • Email campaigns on tablets  result in a 12.8% add-to-cart rate, 2.5% conversion rate and $109.20 average order value. However, this combination also generates a high bounce rate of 31.6%. 
  • Paid search ads on mobile devices result in a 9% conversion rate and a more than 58% year-over-year traffic growth rate. However, the average order value is only $80.04.

As an example of success in a cross-channel campaign that resulted in high conversion rates, the report highlights online men’s retailer Bonobos, a Monetate client. Bonobos, No. 270 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, opened in June 2015 its first physical location where customers can try on clothing and place orders for delivery. To promote the New York location, the company ran a campaign advertising that customers could book appointments with stylists at the shop. When customers clicked through from a display ad, Monetate was able to identify the shopper’s physical location and then promote the shop to those in the region, a Monetate representative says. The campaign aimed to get customers to book in-shop appointments, but the campaign’s conversion rate—the percentage of visits that led to purchases on the e-commerce site—beat the e-commerce industry Q3 average by 146%. The global e-commerce conversion rate in Q3 2015 was 2.95%, while the U.S. conversion rate was 3.06% in the same period.

Other Monetate findings from the third quarter show:

  • U.S. add-to-cart rates rose to 9.92% in the quarter, up from 9.49% in the same quarter a year ago. Global add-to-cart rates rose to 9.58% from 9.3%.
  • Average bounce rates from email traffic were 33.59% in Q3 2015, up from 28.45% the same quarter a year ago. Bounce rates from paid search traffic was nearly unchanged at 26.67% from 26.68%. Traffic from social yielded an average bounce rate of 52.14%, down from 52.77%. Traffic direct-to-site bounce rate increased to 32.38% from 30.15%. Bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who leave after viewing just a single page.
  • Conversion rates from mobile and tablet devices were up in Q3 2015. Conversion rates in the U.S. from smartphones were 1.32%, up from 1.04%. Tablet conversion rates increased to 3.38% from 3.06%.
  • For PCs, the highest conversion rates by platform were on the Macintosh operating system (4.1%), followed by Windows operating system (3.56%) and Chrome OS (2.9%). 



Top Solution Providers