Kinetic newsletters18. June 2019
Email service provider market trend 2019 in the EHI e-commerce top 1,000
Which email marketing platforms are used by the top-selling German e-commerce companies?
In 2019, the EHI Retail Institute once again conducted a study to identify the 1,000 top-selling e-commerce companies in Germany.* On this basis, we carried out our second study for the EHI Retail Institute to find out how these online shops conduct their email marketing. The exciting question remains: Can trends be identified in overall usage, in the systems and platforms used, and in market consolidation?
As in 2018, we subscribed to email newsletters by the online shops identified by EHI for a minimum period of three months (given it was possible to get a newsletter subscription without online procurement). We identified the sending technology by measuring technical features within the newsletters that were sent to us and compared the data to last year’s findings for the online shops that we were within the range of the 1,000 e-commerce operators with the highest revenues in the previous year keeping in mind that there had been some changes to the EHI list: 179 shops are new to the database* this year.
The state of the email nation
At first glance, the results confirm last year’s findings: As in the previous year, email remains the most important channel in digital push communication – 95% of the online shops surveyed still offer email subscriptions (955)**. And, as in 2018, almost all companies send marketing emails (924), although a fourth of them send only 1 to 2 times a quarter of a year, at least in the case of regular, freely available communication. Despite numerous new shops in the EHI ranking, the proportion of those who use an external email service provider (ESP) remains stable: 83% (2018: 82%) send their advertising emails via a service provider that combines all central functions under one roof, from email production, segmentation and distribution management to dispatch and analysis. This includes omni and multichannel marketing suites that serve more channels than just email, from mobile and web push to social media ads and print. Sending services with a functional focus on API-based email transmissions such as Amazon SES, Sendgrid, Mandrill and Sparkpost are favoured by only 3% of the shops, solutions “brand self-built” come to 8% and at 6% no dispatch system was identifiable for us. You can find further explanations of our terminology classification in the blog post from the previous year.
Market shares and trends of email service providers in Germany
The more mature the markets, the more suppliers consolidate? We can see none of that in the email marketing of the 1,000 German online shops of 2019 compared to the previous year: We identified 66 different email service providers (2018: 64).*** 11 of them are new to the list, but, as expected, are entering the market share list relatively far “low” and together they account for only 2.3 % of the ESP market segment surveyed. As in the previous year, the majority is distributed among the ten most frequently used platforms (76%, a slight increase of 1.5 percentage points) – if you look at the 20 most widely used platforms, together they hold 88% of the entire market share (minus 1 percentage point).
The platforms themselves also remained essentially the same: Only one email service provider is new in the group of the 20 most widespread systems. But precisely because there is little movement overall, some market changes are striking all the more clearly:
- Emarsys Marketing Platform is the most widely used system. In terms of market share, the multichannel platform provider increased by 1.3 percentage points over the previous year, while Episerver Campaign (formerly Optivo Broadmail) – the solution with the second highest penetration – recorded 1.2 percentage points less than in 2018, or 10 shops less in absolute figures. Essentially, that means that, for the first time, emarsys holds more than twice as much of the market share as Episerver (11%) in the market segment of the EHI Top 1,000 e-commerce companies with a total amount of 23.3%.
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud is one of the few platforms that changed its position within the top 10: The platform is the third most frequently represented (plus 21 shops); CleverReach held that position in 2018. The market share in the segment studied rose from 5.3 % to 8.1 % and thus grew by more than 50 %.
- Mapp is used significantly less by the online shops surveyed: Whereas in 2018 there were 39, in 2019 we found a total of 28 e-commerce operators in the corresponding totality – a relative change of minus 28 %.
Market Shares in 2019 of the 66 Email Service Providers among the 1,000 e-commerce Companies with the Highest Revenues in Germany
|Email service provider||Share 2019 in %||Share 2018 in %||Absolute
change in percentage points
|Episerver (Optivo)||11,0||12,2||– 1,2|
|Salesforce Marketing Cloud||8,2||5,3||+ 2,9|
|Oracle (Responsys)||2,5||2,9||– 0,4|
|Cheetah Digital||1,8||3,0||– 1,2|
|SC Networks (Evalanche)||0,7||0,9||– 0,2|
|SmartFocus (Emailvision)||0,7||1,2||– 0,5|
|Acoustic Campaign (IBM Watson)||0,5||0,7||– 0,2|
|Oracle (Eloqua)||0,3||0,5||– 0,2|
|SAP Hybris Marketing||0,3||N/A||N/A|
|Schober (Xcampaign)||0,1||0,4||– 0,3|
Throughout the study we refer to these three baselines:
*Base: The 1,000 best-selling German B2C online shops for physical goods in 2019, determined by the EHI Retail Institute for the study “E-Commerce Market Germany 2019“, sorted according to e-commerce sales in fiscal year 2018.
**Base: 924 of the 1,000 shops that sent us emails during the study period of at least three months.
***Base: 765 of the 1,000 shops that sent us emails via a sending platform identified as ESP during the study period of at least three months: the percentage market share was calculated on the basis of the number of companies for which the respective ESP was identifiable.