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Hello and welcome to January: In Review

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The frantic rush of post-holiday returns period has subsided, and as we move into the first 29-day February in 4 years, we look back at some of the most interesting and exciting content to have graced our screens this month.

Packed with real and practical advice for ensuring 2016 is the biggest year yet for your growing business, the focus of this blog remains on retail, ecommerce and digital marketing. Let’s go!

 

1. Advice: How to nail your retail email marketing in 2016

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. With an average return of investment of 38 to 1, email marketing is the surest and most effective way to increasing sales for any retail or ecommerce business.

Not only is it cheap and fruitful, but it is also a critical means of communicating with your customers and prospects. Latest research shows that it is the customer’s favourite channel of communication, beating TV advertising, print media, and many more.

Chart - email favoured channel

Not convinced? Campaign Monitor sums it up nicely: “...there are 3x more email accounts than there are Facebook & Twitter accounts combined… and 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.”

Daunted about how to get started? Don’t be.

Email is just delivering a message that your subscribers actually WANT to hear. That means you should ditch the batch blast ‘eshot’ of the past (no matter how tempting it can be) and deliver automated, relevant emails to your subscribers.

 

"Email is just delivering a message that your subscribers actually WANT to hear"

 

This is called ‘personalisation’ and it’s easier than you’d think, once you know a little bit about who you're talking to.

email checklist infographic

With tools like Mailchimp tied into your CRM and your sales channels , your lists are already targeted and segmented perfectly based on their behaviour and habits.

You’ll see what your contacts have been buying, what they tend to like, their gender, their locale (and everything else you could possibly need). Once you have that, it’s as simple as delivering the right message at the right time.

Go on. Invest a little in email this year. You can thank me later!

 

2. Infographic: More Brits Are Shopping At Independent Retailers

Growing numbers of people in Britain are seeking out small independent shops, attracted by local convenience and the more personal customer service they can provide, a new study finds.

The number of people in Britain who are shopping in independent stores is growing, according tonew reports.

This is awesome news for us at Brightpearl, as we continue to support growing retailers. Joanne Morley (Head of Marketing at myHermes) was also encouraged:

“Independent retailers are facing their toughest battle from online retailers such as Amazon, who are changing Britain’s high streets. We’re encouraged by the results of this research that show not only do we shop with independent retailers more than we did a year ago, but many of us are actively looking to support independent retailers over the retail giants.”

This positive news is reinforced by a beautiful (animated) infographic from myHermes. Check it out here, or click the snippet below.

my hermes infographic

 

3. Article: Three Things Small Businesses Need To Do In The New Year

Whilst we’re already 1/12 of the way through the year, the suggestions in this quick-read Forbes article contain some really solid advice for the direction in which you should be taking your business.

Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle highlights the need for ongoing education to keep yourself growing (something we wholeheartedly endorse within our resources section ) and to maintain that hunger to improve your business.

She also touches on the importance of good quality data, and the growing prominence of omnichannel strategy. Check it out here.

 

4. Blog: The Purchase Sieve: How Customer Behavior is Changing and What Your Business Should Do About It

Depending on your role in the business, you may or may not have heard people talking about the ‘path to conversion’, or the ‘stages of the sales funnel.’

Whilst this may sound like generic business jargon, spewed directly from the mouth of the ‘Corporate B.S. Generator’, these stages have actually proven very successful in sculpting the way that businesses and consumers interact on their journey to purchasing something.

All that is changing however, as thanks to the growth of the internet, the introduction of new digital channels and the "ubiquity of smart devices", customers no longer follow such a “linear and truncated” path to purchase.

So how has this behaviour changed? What is the new model? How can you control it?

In this post by Bigcommerce , Angie Pascale makes a noble effort of answering these questions. It’s a thinker, but for such a short blog post it’s a very good read. Check it out.

 

5. Guide: The Guide To Mastering Multichannel Retail

This month, an absolute gem of an ebook was released…

Absolutely jam-packed full of advice for multichannel retailers, this guide contains everything from tricks and tips for developing better insight (to inform good purchasing decisions) to infographics and print outs designed for you dive into.

The ultimate guide

Containing the combined experience of over a thousand merchants, this guide will help get you and your business get on the most profitable and efficient path to multichannel success.

Check it out now:


That's all for this month! I'd love to hear how your January went... did you suffer from returns, or were you well prepared? Did the January Sales bring in loads of new customers? Let me know in the comments below

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About the Author

Passionate about ending the reign of click-bait, Joe Walton is all about creating engaging, practical content for multichannel retailers at Brightpearl.