In 2021, the latest surge in COVID-19 plus supply chain bottlenecks prompted retailers to start holiday engagement earlier.
Although recent consumer behavior indicates we’re out of our pandemic-fog, this holiday season is being defined by new challenges like soaring inflation.
Keeping these factors in mind, our data science team analyzed numbers across our entire retail customer portfolio and unearthed some key trends.
The messaging market is more crowded than ever and marketers need to be smarter than ever
For the most part, consumer behavior indicates that most have shaken off their COVID-19 daze and are back to shopping behaviors like we saw in the pre-pandemic days.
The same goes for SMS. Unlike the past 2 years where SMS messaging for holidays were going out earlier and were more evenly spread out, spikes in SMS message volume are once again occurring on certain days. While we did see much higher than average volumes on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year, brands who started shifting away from those key days were rewarded with much higher engagement.
This year we saw some very interesting trends:
- Since 2019, engagement rates have been better in the afternoon, and 2022 continued this trend with engagement rates over 26% better in the afternoon.
- Retailers who shifted their Cyber Monday message to Sunday saw as much as 5% higher click through rate.
- Those that sent messages on both the Sunday before Cyber Monday and Cyber Monday saw higher revenue per message on Sunday.
- The top-performing day in terms of revenue per message was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
This could indicate that SMS has reached a level of maturity and that too many messages are being sent on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brands must consider factoring this into their planning moving forward – especially between now and the holidays.
CTR was higher in the afternoons than the mornings
While message volumes in the mornings and afternoons were about even, click through rates were much higher in the afternoon – almost 26% higher. This follows the trend we started to see last year with better engagement in the afternoon. Prior to 2021, mornings saw the highest engagement. Clearly something has shifted for the consumer and afternoon messages are reaching shoppers more effectively.
With that said, while the afternoon trended higher in terms of engagement the morning still saw great engagement, so it’s becoming more important than ever to watch your engagement rates in real time.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to get smarter about when to message. This is not to say that you should stop messaging consumers on key holiday days or stick to sending texts only in the afternoons, but a varied approach inclusive of some unexpected send dates can help you stand out from the crowd.
Brands who did change their days and times of send each generated, on average, over $2.5M in mobile attributed revenue during the 7 days of Cyber Week (Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Tuesday, Nov. 29).
We all know that time is of the essence as we approach the final holiday push, and SMS allows brands to interact with consumers in a timely, personalized manner. With strategic guidance from our team of mobile experts and the Vibes platform’s ability to optimize messages like sending by local time zones, we can help you break through the noise this holiday season and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.