Statistic of the Month: Retail
Retail traffic builders—with such heavy mailers as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, CVS, Macy’s and Staples—always exert their presence in the mailstream. For the past three years, this category has hovered around the 6 percent mark of total mail.
Unsurprisingly, the self-mailer format still dominates, with a full 90 percent of all retail efforts in 2007 (to November, the last month we have recorded information for the Who’s Mailing What! Archive) forgoing an outer envelope. This near-record figure is on the heels of 89.4 percent in 2006 and 87.5 percent in 2005.
Meanwhile, other tactics are less likely to be used by retailers, though more experimentation in creative is evident. So while premium usage and personalized efforts are down, so is repeat mail. Premium usage was clocked at 16 percent in 2005, before dropping to 13.6 percent in 2006 and then 12.7 percent in 2007; in-store discount cards, percentage-off coupons and free hams (okay, I’m talking about Ohama Steaks in this case!) were some of the premiums seen recently. Personalization sat at 5 percent in 2005, then climbed up to 5.8 percent in 2006 before going back down to 5.1 percent in 2007.
Repeat mail, however, went substantially down, from 17.2 percent in 2005 to 9.5 percent in 2006 and, finally, to only 3.8 percent in 2007. In other words, 96.2 percent of all retail efforts in 2007 were mailings we hadn’t seen before, reflecting new sales being advertised and perhaps retailers trimming their circulation a bit to save money.