The best holiday email marketing: Stats

October 18, 2016 McKenzie Gregory


For this week’s edition of our holiday marketing series, we gathered the most impactful stats we could find about where, when, and how buyers shopped in 2015.

The verdict? The 2015 holiday season was huge for retailers (with email marketing a major focal point), and this year is set to be even bigger. Scan through the stats and use them to inform your strategy these next few months – when your own big numbers start rolling in, you’ll be happy you did!

Want more holiday marketing tips? Check out our posts on subject lines and email design.



• Nielsen reported last year that by the end of September, 36 percent of Americans had already started their holiday gift shopping.

• Holiday sales in 2015 were about $626 billion. (National Retail Federation)

• In 2015, 40% of holiday shopping occurred online. (Ipsos MediaCT)

• 48% of holiday shoppers said they did the majority of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday, up from 40% in 2014. (Ipsos MediaCT)

• 93% of holiday consumers would take action (e.g. add more items to their cart) for free shipping. (UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper)

• 1 in 4 orders last holiday season was made from mobile shoppers. (UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper)

• 1 in 5 holiday shoppers made a purchase after opening a retailer’s email on their mobile device. (UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper)

• In 2015, Adobe Digital Index discovered that Cyber Monday became the largest online sales day in history, bringing in sales of $3 billion, a 12% increase from 2014.

• The single biggest year-over-year increase for e-commerce sales was on December 23. Adobe measured a 56% growth rate in e-commerce sales. “People know that they can shop later because they know that it will be delivered,” said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group.

• According to the Ipsos and Magnetic post-holiday survey: 70 percent of people learned of holiday promotions through email, 64 percent from searching online, 56 percent through online ads, and 38 percent from social networks.

• On Black Friday, email marketing generated the most sales with 25.1% of the share. Organic search drove 21.1%, while CPC came in third with 16.6% of sales. (Custora)

• Peak times for online holiday shopping in 2015 were between 9-10 PM. (Big Data Labs)

• NetElixir predicts that e-commerce growth for 2016 will be between 10.5% and 11%, which it says is a moderate estimate compared to other recently published reports like eMarketer, which forecast a 17% increase.



Have any interesting results of your own from last season? Share away in the comments!


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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