2019 Listrak Retail Marketing Benchmarks

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Executive Overview

Benchmarking is critical for companies to evaluate their results and successes. It’s a measure of how fast or how much a company is growing, and how this compares to industry leaders.

This report contains the compiled annual Listrak retail marketing benchmarks from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018 based on client successes of 1,000+ retailers. Channel analysis includes email and SMS campaigns. By analyzing results of individual retail message types, we are able to understand their importance and how they can be orchestrated together guiding the entire customer journey, ultimately increasing engagement, conversions and revenue.

By segmenting results across retail verticals, we are able to provide benchmarks more closely aligned with other companies in a specific retail category in the second half of this report.

At Listrak, we believe that success is achieved by combining artificial intelligence (AI) with guidance from actual human intelligence. Look for tips throughout this report from our retail marketing strategists to beat the benchmarks and deliver results. Also look for ways our digital marketing platform enables retailers and e-commerce providers to drive results through automated, personalized customer messages.

Email Benchmarks Compare Results

Optimize Broadcast Marketing Messages

Broadcast marketing messages continue to provide the majority of email volume for most retailers. A lower average revenue per email sent is skewed by the sheer volume of messages that continue to provide a significant amount of ongoing revenue.

The best performing broadcast messages are utilizing strategies to personalize mass email at an individual level. Successful retailers are increasing the use of AI personalization, including predictive product and content recommendations, predictive analytics dynamic offers and CRM audience micro-segmentation to turn customer data into conversions and revenue.

Leverage Recurring Automated Campaigns

Retailers are increasingly using recurring automated campaigns to supplement broadcast marketing messages with dynamic highly-personalized and self-optimizing messages that are automatically populated with recommendations and content based on a customer’s behavioral history.

A key benefit of recurring automated campaigns is the efficiencies in saving time and resources because they are automatically generated, personalized and sent ongoing at a one-to-one level.

Engage New Customers Via Welcome Series

The most crucial series when establishing a new relationship with customers or potential customers, and to set the stage for future success, is the Welcome Series. It’s your first impression and opportunity to build ongoing trust by welcoming them into your world and understanding your brand.

The most successful welcome messages are uniquely personalized to engage customers wherever they are at in their own personal journeys based on where the subscription originated and behavioral data such as a customer’s browse and purchase history.

Use Browse Abandonment to Nurture Customers

Browse abandonment campaigns use behavioral signals to deliver strategically-timed personalized messages to re-engage and nurture customers, capturing otherwise lost revenue. Customers receive timely messages that include products they have browsed and AI personalized product recommendations.

Turn Shopping Cart Abandonment Into Opportunities

Shopping cart abandonment campaigns continue to be one of the highest performing retail marketing programs because they nurture customers on the path to purchase with the highest indication of shopper intent – adding a product to the cart.

Drive Revenue With Back-in-Stock Alerts

The best performing open rate and highest revenue per email sent in the benchmarks goes to back-in-stock alerts. With almost half of those receiving this type of email opening it, along with high click to open and conversion rates, this is a must have automated campaign for retailers looking to reengage customers who have shown a direct intent to purchase once inventory is restocked.

Prompt Customer Action With Low Inventory Alerts

Low inventory alerts enable retailers to automate targeted messages specifically at the time when items that customers have shown an interest in are about to be sold out. These behaviorally-driven messages convey a sense of urgency and drive revenue from customers with a high propensity to purchase.

Listrak’s Alert Suite reporting allows retailers to monitor products that are selling faster or slower than expected, allowing companies to address inventory before it becomes an issue.

Send Price Drop Alerts to Encourage Sales

Price drop alerts have the highest click to open rate at just under 40%. Because interest has already been behaviorally demonstrated, and there is also the additional incentive of a reduced price, friction toward the path to purchase is reduced.

When sending product alerts, ensure the messages are relevant, not redundant. Utilize a platform that automatically checks customer records before sending alerts to be sure the purchase has not already been made onsite or offline.

Time Offers Strategically With Replenishment

By using predictive behavioral analysis, replenishment campaigns increase customer lifetime value and loyalty by engaging shoppers at the exact moment it is time to reorder.

Listrak’s replenishment solution uses AI and machine learning to automatically adapt to the individual's pattern of re-purchase, maximizing recurring revenue. If buying habits go too far outside the set cadence, the campaign will default back to the group rate to entice customers back to make a purchase.

Implement Loyalty, Post Purchase and Winback

Post purchase messages are built to create a relationship and designed to increase retention, loyalty, conversions and lifetime value of customers. They include an array of life cycle campaigns, such as a post purchase thank you, requests to rate/review merchandise, specifically-timed retention incentives, loyalty reward programs, win back "we miss you" messages, product instructions and first purchase anniversary.

Evolve Transactional Messages to Guide Customers

Transactional messages received winning engagement and performance metrics across the board. These messages can include order confirmations, shipping confirmations, e-Receipts, order cancelations, etc. Smart retailer shave evolved their transactional messages from standard, bland, unformatted notifications into a branded experience that invites customers to continue on their journey toward additional purchases.

Because so many of these messages are opened on a different device than where the purchase took place, these campaigns can also greatly aid in cross-device identification.

Message Type Comparisons

The next few pages contain benchmark comparisons across campaign types using Box-and-Whisker Plots. These data visualizations demonstrate the wider range of distribution across campaigns.

Box-and-Whisker Plot Definitions:

  • Upper Whisker and Lower Whisker – Display the points at 1.5 the interquartile range (or 1.5 times the width of the adjoining box). While there may be outlier data above or below these points, the overwhelming majority of results fall within this range.
  • Upper Hinge and Lower Hinge – Indicate the upper and lower points of the middle two quartiles of the data’s distribution represented as the box.
  • Median – The midpoint within the distribution of data.

Open Rate Comparison

Click to Open Rate Comparison

Conversion Rate Comparison

Revenue Per Email Sent Comparison

Email Benchmarks by Retail Vertical


Art/Art Supplies/Crafts


Baby Gear


Books/Film/Music (Content)

Computers/Electronics (Hardware)


Firearms/Tactical Supplies/Survival






Mass Merchant

Musical Instruments/Equipment

Office/School Supplies

Pet Supplies



Toys/Hobbies/Sporting Goods/Camping

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As an industry-leading marketing cloud focused exclusively on retailers, Listrak delivers results for its clients with the power of 1:1 interactions that drive incremental revenue, engagement, lifetime value and growth. Fueled by artificial intelligence, actual human intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics, the Listrak platform boasts a comprehensive set of marketing automation and CRM solutions that unify, interpret and personalize data to engage customers across channels and devices. Listrak has nearly two decades of digital marketing experience, serves more than 1,000 clients and works with leading brands to help them reach their marketing and sales goals.

For more information, visit www.listrak.com

Enhance Journeys Using SMS Mobile Messaging

SMS mobile marketing continues to enhance the customer journey and provide access to many customers’ trusted and preferred channel of communication. Retailers are experiencing greater returns when orchestrating cross-channel messaging to deliver targeted and highly effective mobile messages.

Many brick-and-mortar retailers have exponentially increased their cross channel acquisition by implementing low cost text-to-join campaigns that require little to no technical resources. They are capturing mobile numbers and email addresses in a way that makes customers happy and increases sales while adding no administrative or technical burdens on the stores themselves.

Create Your Benchmarks

Understanding average retail metrics is important, but it is crucial to monitor your own analytics as a baseline and measure success against your own benchmarks.

Listrak’s Strategy Services team is available to help you define benchmarks specifically for your business and build a strategy to ensure every message you send exceeds those benchmarks. Our team will help you implement cross-channel strategies so you can reach customers through the right channel with personalized and relevant messages every time, resulting in higher engagement and increased revenue.