Mobile Email Scorecard Shows Which Retailers Won Big in Capturing Mobile Holiday Sales

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LightningBuy's scorecard shows some top retailers will be missing out on Holiday 2013 mobile sales.

Over 80% of non-optimized emails will be deleted without being read and 30% of consumers will take the additional step of unsubscribing entirely.

LightningBuy, a single-click mobile checkout platform that lets merchants sell directly from email and social media posts, has discovered the retailers with the most and least effective mobile email marketing campaigns. LightningBuy's Mobile Email Scorecard reviewed the email marketing campaigns from sixty of the largest Internet retailers during the week leading up to and including Thanksgiving weekend.

The Mobile Email Scorecard reveals that Internet retailers will find it challenging to drive Holiday sales from email marketing campaigns if they are not optimized for mobile. According to BlueHornet (, 76% of consumers use their smartphones some or all of the time to sort emails before viewing on a computer. “That means email campaigns had better be optimized for mobile or retailers will miss out on sales," says Carissa Ganelli, CEO of LightningBuy. "Over 80% of non-optimized emails will be deleted without being read and 30% of consumers will take the additional step of unsubscribing entirely."

Only 35% of the retailers reviewed for the Mobile Email Scorecard sent mobile-optimized emails promoting Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The remaining 65% sent non mobile-optimized emails that are less likely to be read. “It’s really not an option to not give priority to mobile. Not when the latest IBM Benchmark report from Black Friday shows that sales from mobile devices grew 43% from last year to generate almost 22% of total online sales, and mobile was responsible for almost 40% of all online traffic. In fact, Cyber Monday’s name should be changed to Mobile Monday due to the exponential growth of mobile commerce in just the past few years,” says Ganelli.

The Scorecard declares fifteen (25%) retailers the winners, having both mobile-optimized email and a corresponding mobile website: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gilt, Groupon, J.Crew, Kmart, Neiman Marcus, OfficeMax, Puritan’s Pride, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, Target, The Home Depot, Nordstrom, and RueLaLa. Ganelli says, “These are the retailers that will garner a higher share of impulse purchases. Impulse purchases are a key component of the frenzied holiday shopping season. Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase if they see an offer on their mobile device that’s easy to read and easy to buy."

The retailers least likely to generate sales from their email campaigns are those with non mobile-optimized emails that lead to non mobile-optimized versions of their websites. Nine retailers fall into this category including: Amazon, Ashford, Baby Gap, Banana Republic Factory Store, Bergdorf Goodman, Cusp (by Neiman Marcus), Horchow, PCMall, and Snapfish.

Three retailers, Amazon, Baby Gap, and Banana Republic Factory Store, all have mobile websites yet their email campaigns redirect to their standard websites on mobile devices. “These retailers appear very out of touch with how consumers want to buy. This leaves a huge opening for competitors who have made the effort to be where the consumers are, which is on mobile devices,” says Ganelli.

The remaining retailers from the Scorecard have mixed results with thirty of the retailers (50%) having non mobile-optimized emails that lead to mobile websites and six (10%) of the retailers with mobile-optimized emails that lead to non-mobile websites. Four of those six, GameStop, Lowes, Musician’s Friend, and Walmart have mobile websites yet the emails go to the standard desktop site which looks shrunken on a smartphone. “With these retailers that have mixed results, either the non mobile-optimized email will be deleted without being read or once the customer gets to the shrunken website he will abandon the transaction. The end result is the same: very little sales from mobile,” says Ganelli.

The Mobile Email Scorecard comes on the heels of LightningBuy’s “2013 Mobile Commerce Conversion Index.” The index reveals surprising results about some of the largest Internet retailers, and highlights why many of them will be missing out on Holiday 2013 sales. According to the report, only 72% of the top 100 Internet retailers have a mobile site. Of those that do have a mobile-optimized home page, many still lack a fully mobile site or are not mobile commerce enabled.

The report and corresponding infographic, available at, ranks the top 100 Internet retailers’ ability to convert mobile traffic to sales. The report highlights specific tactics that the most successful merchants take to convert mobile traffic to sales, and LightningBuy’s Mobile Commerce Conversion Index (MCCI) offers a precise rating of how likely a merchant is to convert visitors to customers.

LightningBuy does not hesitate to call out the worst offenders. Their “Weekly Worst” newsletter picks some of the biggest mistakes made by prominent retailers, offering insight into how they could have had more effective mobile marketing campaigns and/or mobile websites.

About LightningBuy

LightningBuy is a single-click mobile commerce checkout platform, which allows vendors and merchants to sell directly from email, social media, or digital advertisements. The platform brings a new dimension to mobile buying and selling, offering a user-friendly and remarkably simple check-out process for buyers, and a simple implementation for merchants. For more information on LightningBuy and to obtain the full report, please visit or contact Carissa Ganelli at cganelli(at)LightningBuy(dot)com or 203-951-5611 X101.

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David Schutzman
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