During the last two years, online retail in South Africa has shifted into a higher gear with sustained acceleration.
The Online Retail in South SA research report published by World Wide Worx reveals that the total spend on online retail goods in South Africa surpassed the R2-billion mark in 2010 for the very first time, climbing to R2,028-billion and growing at 30% over the previous year.
In 2011, the industry consensus pointed to a 40% growth spurt, which signified the highest rate of online retail growth in South Africa in almost a decade.
“This extraordinary surge in online retail comes in the wake of a constant rise in the volume of knowledgeable internet users in South Africa,” mentioned World Wide Worx MD and principal analyst for the survey, Arthur Goldstuck.
“During the past year there were 3,6-mlilion people who had been online for five years or more. By 2015, this figure will most likely be 6,8-million – pretty much double the potential e-commerce market of today.”
If you’re a retailer, professional email marketing software can help you tap into this uptick in online trade. Email marketing does the heavy lifting of your delivery of bulk mail, based on good sender reputation; it helps you optimize promotional newsletters to display correctly in different inboxes (from mobile to tablet and PC), it facilitates an increase of your conversions through personalized segmentation, and assists you in analysing the success of your email marketing campaigns via actionable reports – just to name a few of the benefits.
Online retailers use bulk mailers most often to drive up their revenue from first-time buyers, persuade people to purchase more regularly and nurture consumer loyalty.
Maximising your spend
Here are eight tips on what you can do to get the most out of professional email marketing:
- Add links to your newsletter to generate traffic to your website instantly by introducing new products that you have added to your stock
- Manage multiple customer lists and send targeted messages to different audiences
- Increase conversion rates and shorten sales cycles with automated emails (autoresponders)
- Grow your database with easily customizable opt-in forms for the web, including signups via social media, as seen done by this email marketing software.
- Enable email forwarding, commenting and sharing to social networks to help facilitate word-of-mouth advertising
- Monitor product popularity with the in-depth reporting and tracking reports provided by most Email Marketing Service Providers (ESPs)
- Design your email marketing programs to align with consumers’ buying preferences, to let them know that you care about what they want – all based on a range of free templates
- Enable e-commerce integrations for transactional services and online shopping carts.
Want to Know What Type of Emails Get Fast Responses? Click Here
Try promoting a discount or special as a newsletter-exclusive offer, or showcase a specific retail item and include feedback and reviews from past customers. You can also list your top selling products, since people love knowing what others are buying and this often increases sales of the same wares.
Since email is instant, with it you can offer free shipping to shoppers who place an order the same day as they receive the message. And since you can control precisely who gets what message and when, you can set things up so your system will send out automated messages reminding regular customers to replenish their stocks of products.
You can also get user-generated content by asking customers to write personal reviews or descriptions of your products and then leverage or even reward these by highlighting the best client product reviews of the month. However, even the greatest of content might not be opened unless the subject line is enticing to the recipient. Some tips on how to do that can be found on this email blog.
Bring mobile into your marketing mix
Online retailers today have the ability to capitalize on the mobile phenomenon to capture, target and engage with new and existing audiences – and potential customers.
According to a new study from the World Bank, approximately three quarters of the world’s population now has access to a mobile phone: The number of mobile phone subscriptions has skyrocketed over the past 12 years. Fewer than 1 billion mobile subscriptions were active in 2000, while there are six billion subscriptions active today.
World Wide Worx’s latest Mobility report shows that SA consumers are getting savvier when it comes to mobile.
About half of Internet access inSouth Africais mobile only, according to Goldstuck. The research found that the amount of time spent online using mobile devices is now almost commensurate with the amount of time spent online via a desktop or laptop.
59% of the 1 200 people sampled now have Internet access of some kind or another, with 27% having a combination of cellphone and desktop or laptop access.
It’s clear that mobile technologies have quickly gained momentum as the go-to choice for reaching consumers who are increasingly dependent on their handheld devices for almost everything. Due to this, some email service providers have bulk SMS and mobile site creation tools integrated into their software, so choose an ESP that gives you the freedom to synergise your email and mobile marketing efforts.
Most of all, try different options and go with an email service provider who cares about how well their product works for you.
Get Customers to Open Your Emails. Use these 4 Tips