Smartphones are dominating open rates for email marketing on every key shopping date in the 2014 holiday season, but that’s no surprise. We’ve long seen this trend emerge as mobile device adoption continues to grow worldwide, and based on our ongoing holiday data analysis of millions of emails from Thanksgiving through Black Friday, the trend we’re seeing regarding opens is consistent with rest of year data: consumers open on the go and then conversion from these devices drops off.

Yet open rates are just the tip of the iceberg. Retail marketers need to be focused on conversion, Average Order Value (AOV) and Revenue Per Click (RPC). These metrics that matter are where there’s a holiday pattern that for some may be shocking… Android users are just as valuable as iPhone users.

The widely held notion that iPhone users spend far more than Android users might be true for rest of year, but during the highest revenue generating season, the competition is fierce.

Android vs. Apple: Conversion

  • Purchase conversion attributed to Smartphones over three key shopping dates so far this season show that Android and iPhone users are more than just neck-and-neck: Android actually beats out iPhone users on both Thanksgiving and Cyber Sunday, with a near 30% difference in conversion rate on Thanksgiving

  • On Black Friday, the highest volume shopping date out of the three shown in the chart above, iPhone users edge out Android users, but by less than 2%

  • “Other Mobile” devices include Blackberry, Windows Smartphones and other operating systems, and while these users also compete for conversion rate, their decreased market penetration generates a much lower share of revenue

Android vs. Apple: AOV

  • Android users eclipsed iPhone users in terms of Average Order Value (AOV) by $1 on Black Friday. With a tremendously high volume of purchases on this day, that $1, or just over 1% difference can translate into thousands and thousands of dollars of revenue for mid-market ecommerce companies

  • iPhone users reclaimed top billing on both Thanksgiving and Cyber Sunday; delivering a whopping ~14% higher AOV on Sunday, which is more consistent with the reported higher values delivered throughout the year

Android vs. Apple: RPC Nets Even

But no where is this parity more apparent than in Revenue Per Click–a key metric for tracking, testing and analyzing success. On Black Friday, for example, iPhone users generated $2.66 per email click and Android users delivered $2.65 per click, which is far closer than marketers may have predicted.

Stay tuned for more key insights in our upcoming Cyber Week data roundup, a complete holiday data guide including a comprehensive analysis across devices, browsers and customer cohorts.

Can’t wait until the full Cyber Week analysis? Check out more of our initial 2014 holiday data findings:

This post was written by and based on data analysis from Marielle Hanke (Sr. Manager of Analytics) and Steve Wood (Optimization Analyst).