Vibes, the technology leader powering direct-to-consumer mobile engagement, delivered a record number of mobile messages on behalf of its customers during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including Cyber Monday. However, unlike recent years, brands found shoppers receptive to mobile marketing throughout the long weekend–including Thanksgiving Day–while engagement rates actually declined on Cyber Monday. Mobile messaging
Through the power of its performance analytics technology, Vibes has identified several insights and trends. Customers achieved a 7% increase in average click-through rate this year compared to Thanksgiving weekend 2019, as more consumers became accustomed to using their mobile devices for shopping and interacting directly with brands.
The Shift from In-Store to Online Shopping and the Rise of Mobile Messaging
Most noteworthy was the timing of when brands connected with consumers, given that fewer people were travelling and heading to physical stores amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Vibes’s customers delivered almost as many mobile messages on Black Friday, which is typically dominated by in-store shopping, as they did on the dominant online shopping on Cyber Monday.
Response rates on Black Friday were nearly a full percentage point higher than Cyber Monday, indicating that people weren’t waiting to shop online. As Cyber Monday has become oversaturated with marketing, it may be losing its ‘event’ status. On the flip side, brands sent three times the number of messages on Thanksgiving Day this year compared to last year, achieving an engagement rate similar to Black Friday.
“In 2020, there was a significant change in how many marketers timed their campaigns. Those who waited until Cyber Monday missed an opportunity to connect with shoppers,” said Alex Campbell, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Vibes. “The data is telling us that shoppers are receptive to direct and personal messages on Thanksgiving, which has previously been avoided due to holiday sensitivity and stores being closed. As ecommerce has quickly become the norm for most amid the pandemic, it’s becoming less important when stores are physically open.”
Mobile Engagement and Shopping Trends
Many brands saw mobile engagement pay off – whether driving customers to use curbside pickup or alerting shoppers to personalized offers—throughout November. Earlier this year, Vibes rolled out two new products for its retail partners aimed at facilitating Buy Online Pickup at Curbside (BOPAC) and Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS).
During November, Vibes’s customers sent out 18% more mobile messages compared to the same month in 2019 as the traditional holiday shopping period has become far less concentrated in 2020, in part due to Covid-19. Mobile messaging
Similar to the data recorded during Thanksgiving weekend, Vibes’s customers recorded 9% higher engagement rates on average on Saturdays and Sundays in November compared to weekdays, indicating that mobile shopping is satisfying people’s traditional urge to hit the stores on weekends.
“The lesson that marketers can take away from this data is that at least in 2020, the rules are different,” said Campbell. “People are in a continuous shopping mindset and less focused on specific days of the week. Strategic marketers can take advantage of this in the coming weeks by having a consistent messaging approach throughout the remaining holiday season that emphasizes weekends and focuses less on historically ‘big shopping days.’ Shoppers want to shop, and they’re going to do it on their time, not based on when stores are traditionally busy.”
Retail brands use the Vibes platform to drive e-commerce, engaging consumers on their most personal devices with timely, targeted messages, notifications, and digital wallet passes. All of these approaches increase online conversion. The Vibes platform combines SMS/MMS, Mobile Wallet, and Push with intelligent automation and deep analytics to ensure brands successfully optimize the digital consumer lifecycle and consumers receive communication via the channel that immediately captures their attention and eases their path to purchase.
For instance, through the Vibes platform, brands can drive consumer action by delivering personalized cart recovery incentives and reminders, order status notifications, targeted offers to loyalty program members, and easily facilitating BOPIS and BOPAC to make the entire shopping experience more convenient and seamless.
“This year’s data tells us that mobile engagement channels have become even more important for marketers to drive e-commerce. Oracle’s panel data reveals that email open rates are down 4% and 6% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, respectively,” said Campbell. “The immediacy and personalized nature of mobile is invaluable for brands that want to build deep connections and drive online shopping growth in the coming years.” Mobile messaging