Ecommerce Email Marketing: Industry Performance Benchmarks

ecommerce email marketing benchmarks

Editor’s Note: This data is based on Klaviyo customers from Q3 2017 and represents total open and click rates vs. unique. A complete report based on unique opens and click rates of 2017 data will be released in the coming weeks.

When looking to improve your email marketing, it’s common to wonder what everyone else is doing in the world of ecommerce and more so, how they’re performing.

What exactly does “good” look like anyway?

The answer is that “it depends”; on what type of email campaign or flow you’re sending, and what goal you’re aiming for. For example, the average open rate for a campaign email is 35% while the average browse abandonment email open rate is 50.54%. Comparing bottom line results, however, the revenue per recipient for both of these emails is nearly the same ($1.17 for campaigns and $1.09 for browse abandonment). And when you look at these results by industry, there are more variances.

This post delivers benchmarks on the ecommerce metrics that matter most to your business and breaks out the results by industry so you are able to compare your results in aggregate and by like-companies.

In this post, you’ll also find the stats on what we consider one of the most important metrics — revenue.

Our ecommerce customers are sending a ton of emails, and that provides a lot of data for us to mine. We looked at the data of over 9 billion campaign emails and 190 million flow emails sent by over 4,000 companies.

But before we dive into our findings, let’s take a look at how we arrived at these numbers.

We focused on five key metrics important to evaluating email marketing success. Here’s how we calculated these metrics:[mk_table]

Metric Formula
Open rate Opens/deliveries*
Click rate Clicks/deliveries
Conversion rate Orders placed/deliveries
Revenue per recipient Revenue/deliveries
Average order value Revenue/orders placed

[/mk_table]*Deliveries meaning number of emails delivered

Campaign Industry Performance

Getting subscribers to convert on a campaign is hard work; there’s so much noise already in the inbox and campaigns tend to be less targeted than automated emails.

For easy comparison to your own results, the campaign email averages across all industries are:

  • Open rate: 35%
  • CTR: 5.46%
  • Conversion Rate: 1.41%
  • Revenue per recipient: $1.17
  • Average order value: $99.80

The winners of campaign industry performance are:

  • Beauty and Cosmetics: with a 49% open rate and whopping 4% conversion rate
  • Arts and Crafts: with a 46% open rate and 3% conversion rate

While businesses across all industries get a boost in revenue from sending campaigns, if you’re in the arts & crafts or beauty & cosmetics industry, campaigns should be a serious focus of your email marketing strategy.[mk_table]

Industry Open CTR Conversion rate Revenue per recipient AOV
Animal & Pet Care 23% 2% 0.31% $0.20 $64.62
Arts & Crafts 46% 7% 3% $1.01 $39.80
Automobile & Parts 39% 6% 1% $1.99 $212.87
Beauty & Cosmetics 49% 8% 4% $1.52 $43.30
Computers, Electronics & Accessories 19% 3% 0% $0.25 $75.33
Fashion & Apparel 39% 5% 1% $1.62 $121.40
Food & Beverage 36% 5% 2% $1.07 $69.52
Garden & Home Goods 29% 4% 1% $1.65 $142.43
Health & Fitness 35% 6% 1% $1.00 $92.93
Jewelry & Accessories 31% 4% 1% $0.68 $79.43
Media & Entertainment 39% 6% 1% $0.54 $99.71
Outdoor & Wilderness Gear 29% 5% 1% $0.66 $121.98
Toys & Games 41% 10% 2% $3.07 $134.09

[/mk_table]

Next Steps: Level up your campaigns:

What are the best ways to improve your campaigns? Being data-driven in all you do, you should specifically:

  1. Use data to drive ecommerce email campaigns
  2. Fine-tune your audience with targeted segmentation
  3. Optimize your email subject lines

Flow Industry Performance

What’s a flow? Flows are an email or series of emails sent to a subscriber based on a trigger and, optionally, filtered based on specific profile or trigger details.

For example, a subscriber might abandon a cart when shopping, and that will trigger a series of emails that use the data from that abandoned cart to entice the buyer to return and make a purchase

I looked at how 4 flows performed: abandoned cart flows, win-backs, welcome series, and browse abandonment flows.

Abandoned Carts

Abandoned cart flows are usually the first or second flow set up by ecommerce shops. When we look at their overall performance, it’s clear to see why.

Abandoned carts make you money because they are highly targeted, timely, and have conversion rates 3x greater than other flow emails on average.

The averages across all industries are:

  • Open rate: 39.17%
  • CTR: 7.74%
  • Conversion: 2.89%
  • RPR: $2.72
  • AOV: $94.65

The winners of abandoned carts by industry performance are:

  • Outdoor & wilderness gear; with 48.24% open rate and 4.48% conversion rate
  • Food & beverage industry; with 10.66% click rate and 4.52% conversion rate

Even though some industries stand out in performance, given the high performance across all industries and all categories, every ecommerce store should put creating an abandoned cart flow at the top of their to-do list.[mk_table]

Industry Open CTR Conversion rate Revenue per recipient AOV
Animal & Pet Care 24.16% 4.21% 0.76% $0.44 $57.94
Arts & Crafts 49.88% 13.01% 4.44% $4.16 $93.58
Automobile & Parts 46.80% 9.44% 3.36% $5.15 $153.06
Beauty & Cosmetics 39.78% 6.77% 2.94% $2.23 $75.84
Computers, Electronics & Accessories 31.45% 6.13% 2.23% $1.21 $54.37
Fashion & Apparel 36.44% 6.46% 3.22% $2.43 $75.58
Food & Beverage 52.94% 10.66% 4.52% $2.91 $64.39
Garden & Home Goods 20.97% 3.99% 1.27% $2.37 $186.37
Health & Fitness 39.6% 7.62% 3.03% $2.77 $91.43
Jewelry & Accessories 24.40% 4.61% 1.21% $0.95 $78.68
Media & Entertainment 51.34% 10.59% 3.63% $2.64 $72.91
Outdoor & Wilderness Gear 48.24% 10.46% 4.48% $5.60 $125.05
Toys & Games 43.43% 6.69% 2.44% $2.47 $101.19

[/mk_table]Looking to level up your abandoned carts? Check out industry-specific help for:

  1. Fashion & apparel brands
  2. Jewelry & accessory retailers

Win-backs

Win-back flows are used to re-engage inactive customers. A win-back series is a critical part of customer lifecycle marketing.

The averages across all industries are:

  • Open rate: 28.10%.
  • CTR: 4.02%
  • Conversion: 0.49%
  • RPR: $0.37
  • AOV: $79.12

We weren’t surprised to see that the top performing industry for win-back emails was the food & beverage industry with an average conversion rate of 1.07%.

Looking further into the success of win-backs in this industry, we found that 76% of top performers have a win-back series (also known as replenishment or repeat customer) flow live. This makes logical sense as food and beverage are consumables which people will use up and hopefully, purchase again.

On the heels of the food & beverage industry, is the beauty & cosmetics industry with an average conversion rate of 0.97%. Similar to the food & beverage industry, beauty & cosmetic products often follow a replenishment cycle.[mk_table]

Industry Open CTR Conversion rate Revenue per recipient AOV
Animal & Pet Care 22.46% 3.65% 0.46% $0.29 $61.85
Arts & Crafts 45.80% 6.02% 0.71% $0.36 $50.79
Automobile & Parts 30.03% 3.92% 0.42% $0.75 $179.49
Beauty & Cosmetics 26.75% 4.63% 0.97% $0.70 $71.98
Computers, Electronics & Accessories 23.74% 2.32% 0.20% $0.08 $43.04
Fashion & Apparel 18.12% 2.31% 0.23% $0.17 $72.25
Food & Beverage 34.83% 4.70% 1.07% $0.59 $55.12
Garden & Home Goods 12.94% 1.58% 0.08% $0.11 $144.13
Health & Fitness 29.55% 4.68% 0.60% $0.57 $95.65
Jewelry & Accessories 20.53% 2.44% 0.13% $0.07 $55.50
Media & Entertainment 28.05% 3.01% 0.23% $0.09 $38.17
Outdoor & Wilderness Gear 27.75% 5.92% 0.44% $0.35 $79.77
Toys & Games 34.73% 7.75% 0.81% $0.65 $80.81

[/mk_table]If you’re working on your win-back email strategy, consider:

  1. Animal & pet care win-back email successes
  2. Food & beverage win-back email strategies
  3. Bounce-back email campaign strategies

Welcome Series

If we were to rank the most important flows to set up, a welcome series would be right at the top next to an abandoned cart flow. With impressive conversion rates (often well over 1%) and opens, a welcome series is a great way to reach subscribers when they are most interested.

The averages across all industries are:

  • Open Rate: 33.22%
  • CTR: 5.10%
  • Conversion Rate: 1.33%
  • Rev per recipient: $1.18
  • AOV: $93.01

The winners for welcome series by industry performance are:

  • Beauty & cosmetics stores, with 50.31% open rate and 3.89% conversion rate
  • Toys & games shops, with 10.39% click-through rate and 2.34% conversion rate

[mk_table]

Industry Open CTR Conversion rate Revenue per recipient AOV
Animal & Pet Care 22.72% 2.33% 0.32% $0.16 $51.38
Arts & Crafts 40.79% 5.34% 2.61% $1.03 $39.67
Automobile & Parts 38.28% 5.15% 0.94% $2.03 $216.46
Beauty & Cosmetics 50.31% 8.49% 3.89% $1.66 $42.75
Computers, Electronics & Accessories 19.47% 2.44% 0.63% $0.26 $40.60
Fashion & Apparel 37.91% 4.95% 1.26% $1.33 $105.97
Food & Beverage 35.31% 5.10% 1.55% $1.04 $67.05
Garden & Home Goods 27.78% 3.39% 1.11% $1.58 $141.91
Health & Fitness 34.91% 6.55% 0.98% $0.71 $71.97
Jewelry & Accessories 31.02% 3.77% 0.87% $0.69 $79.22
Media & Entertainment 37.32% 6.06% 0.42% $0.31 $75.01
Outdoor & Wilderness Gear 19.09% 2.29% 0.40% $0.38 $96.44
Toys & Games 36.94% 10.39% 2.34% $4.22 $180.75

[/mk_table]

Browse Abandoned

Walking the fine line between helpful and creepy is one of the biggest challenges when launching a browse abandonment flow.

But that shouldn’t dissuade you, with average open rates over 50% and revenue per recipient over $1, browse abandonment flows are a smart way to level up your email marketing strategy.

The averages across all industries are:

  • Open Rate: 50.54%
  • CTR: 8.72%
  • Conversion Rate: 1.29%
  • Rev per recipient: $1.09
  • AOV: $84.65

The winners for browse abandoned flows by industry performance are:

  • Toys & Games; with a 60.735 open rate and a 13.84% click-through rate.
  • Health & Fitness; with a 14.19% click-through rate and a $1.55 revenue per recipient.

[mk_table]

Industry Open CTR Conversion rate Revenue per recipient AOV
Animal & Pet Care 55.75% 10.97% 2.21% $1.46 $66.20
Arts & Crafts 64.67% 8.36% 1% $1.44 $116.07
Automobile & Parts 56.84% 10.27% 1.59% $1.63 $102.69
Beauty & Cosmetics 48.61% 6.28% 1.38% $0.64 $52.43
Computers, Electronics & Accessories 45.25% 5.52% 0.67% $0.36 $53.45
Fashion & Apparel 43.58% 6.60% 1.34% $1.04 $77.76
Food & Beverage 47.85% 6.86% 1.62% $0.73 $45.47
Garden & Home Goods 24.43% 3.64% 0.45% $0.53 $117.05
Health & Fitness 54.23% 14.19% 1.58% $1.55 $97.98
Jewelry & Accessories 40.99% 5.91% 0.62% $0.48 $77.57
Media & Entertainment 64.01% 9.20% 1.32% $0.65 $49.23
Outdoor & Wilderness Gear 50.11% 11.67% 1.36% $1.02 $74.62
Toys & Games 60.73% 13.84% 1.58% $2.68 $169.89

[/mk_table]

Next Steps: Level up your flows:

What are the best ways to improve your flows? By fine-tuning segments and digging into best practices, such as:

  1. Finding the right amount of triggered emails for your ecommerce store
  2. Experimenting with new content in your welcome series
  3. Getting a deeper understanding of abandoned carts

 

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1 comment

  • Love this Alicia, thanks for sharing! Now I can compare how my clients’ flows and campaigns stack up against the data.

    I have a couple of clarifying questions related to the industry & what my clients actually sell:
    1) Where would you put a company that sells omega-3 supplements: Health & Fitness or Food & Beverage?
    2) What about a company that offers high-end furniture: Garden & Home Goods or Media & Entertainment?

    If you need more clarification, happy to PM you via email too!

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