Email marketing has taken a serious hit in terms of its effectiveness, while e-commerce sites' web traffic from tablet devices is increasing steadily and outpacing even smartphones, according to the 'Q2/2013 Ecommerce Quarterly' report from Monetate, which analysed more than 600 million online shopping experiences. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The report examined the decreasing influence that email marketing seems to be having on e-commerce overall, and aimed to find out how and why tablets are overtaking smartphones in online retail. The study also took a timely look at social media's impact on e-commerce.

The report includes over a dozen benchmark reports about consumer behaviour in the ecommerce space and a breakdown of online shopping behaviours by state. Among the report's key findings:

  • Email takes a dip
    The study found that both referral traffic to ecommerce sites from email and conversion rates from email decreased since last year. Referral traffic dropped 37% year-over-year, while the conversion rate slipped six percent. However, average order value from email channels is up from US$89.43 in Q2/2012 to US$99.93 in Q2/2013, which suggests a good opportunity for brands that are able to create more engaging email experiences.
  • The rise of the tablet continues
    Traffic from mobile devices made up 22.13% of all e-commerce traffic, up from 15.2% in Q2/2012. Tablet traffic continued to outpace smartphones, making up 12.44% of all e-commerce traffic with smartphones at 9.69%.
  • Social commerce shows promise for average order value
    Social media traffic delivered a big year-on-year increase in terms of average order value, moving from US$75.82 in Q2/2012 to US$86.80 in Q2/2013. However, social still lags far behind search and email in terms of both traffic volume and conversion rates.

The report also introduced the company's new Impact Score - a way for digital marketers to measure the value of specific customer segments to their businesses. The metric could be very useful for new customer acquisition in particular, because marketers can use is to identify smaller customer segments that have high revenue potential - and then use their acquisition channels more effectively to attract consumers with a similar profile.