Against the background of high inflation, the first months of 2023 were dominated by a downward trend in market-wide sales, by an average of 10%, with increases only recorded by retailers selling cheap products, according to an analysis by White Image, the first and largest email marketing services company from Romania.
“These trends are the result of increasingly strong signals related to an economic crisis, but also the increase in inflation, Romanians becoming more thoughtful and more oriented towards products that have the lowest price. Thus, the trend of increasing sales is registered for the products with the lowest price in the respective product categories, food for example, and for traders who sell cheap products. Therefore, merchants who do not rely only on very low-priced products should have a strategy for selling, growing their database of potential customers, and promoting their products or services to generate sales and ensure income for business growth”, explains Andrei Georgescu, co-founder of White Image.
Moreover, against the decrease in purchasing power, companies invested more in advertising at the beginning of the year to maintain or increase sales, with the number of marketing campaigns increasing by 35% between January and March 2023 compared to the same period of last year.
At the same time, more and more specific promotion to consumers is preferred, based on audience segmentation, which generates an increase in the opening rate of promotional emails. Also, companies are turning to more controllable advertising channels and at lower costs, thus reducing the promotion through Facebook Ads and increasing investment budgets in direct communication through email marketing/SMS marketing, where the conversion rate can be 40% higher.
“Recently, the focus is increasingly on the automation of communication, through email marketing, in order to complete as best as possible, the relationship with customers in all stages of a customer journey, but also on the integration of data from several systems in order to have a better picture of the stages in which a customer is in the relationship with the brand. Also, an increasingly visible trend lately is the desire of brands to outline existing loyalty programs better and more efficiently to prevent the effects of the current crisis and ensure revenue growth”, says Grațiela Lupu, co-founder of White Image.
In addition, companies are increasingly accessing services for data management and integration, and services for creating targeted and relevant content and messages for consumers.
Companies invest between 100 euros and 5,000 euros per month in email marketing services, depending on the complexity of the communication program and the size of the email database they have, but also multiple data integrations and more sophisticated communication programs with many customizations.
Between January and March, White Image sent almost 200 million e-mails and approximately 1.5 million SMS to clients to promote the services and products of the clients in the portfolio.
Tips to increase sales for Easter 2023
Considering the context of high inflation and the trend of falling sales in the first months of the year, the marketing specialists at White Image have several recommendations for increasing sales for Easter 2023.
● the most important promotion tactic is to segment the database as much as possible, preferably by audience age group and according to the interests expressed in the relationship with the brand
● the subject of the mail, which is the first thing that users see, it is important to be as attractive and convincing as possible to open the newsletter with offers or information – for example, include an element of urgency, such as ” Last chance to buy Easter gifts”
● during this period, in terms of offers, retailers may prepare price reductions or 2-in-1 product bundles
● in terms of approach, brands can connect with potential consumers, especially Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, who generally prefer traditional communication. In this context, the integration of offers in more traditional communications, i.e. on family values, can positively impact sales
● in communicating with Generations Y and Z, brands can use the context of Easter as a more general pretext to promote offers, with a greater focus on creating content that values and helps differentiate young consumers
● finally, Easter can represent a pretext for increasing databases, that is, brands can ask users for communication consent so that they will be the first to find out Easter offers, but it can also continue as a pretext after the Easter campaign, through messages of the type ” Did you miss our Easter offers? There is no problem. We are preparing new discounts, leave us your contact details and you will be the first to know about them”, meaning Easter is just a pretext to connect with the audience