Three Ways to Turn SMS Marketing into Sales

My Post (34)Over the past decade, ecommerce website traffic has rapidly shifted from desktop to mobile devices. In 2018, mobile overtook desktop as the predominant global online traffic source. Mobile usage skyrocketed during the 2019 holidays and for the first time ever, became the primary ecommerce revenue source from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. In today’s mobile-first ecommerce environment, marketers should strive to invest in strategies that optimize user experience on smartphones.

One of the most effective mobile marketing strategies is implementing a Short Message Service (SMS) program. With 98% of text messages read within two minutes, 36% average click rates and 45% average conversion rates, SMS marketing has unparalleled engagement rates compared to other channels. These metrics aren’t surprising considering the text message inbox is one of the least saturated; especially compared to email inboxes and social media news feeds.
Get Started with SMS 

SMS allows marketers to reach their customers in a more personal way, in the right place, at the right time, and on the device they can’t do without. In order to help get started with SMS marketing, here are some leading practices businesses can utilize to start acquiring mobile contacts, design engaging messages and automate personalized campaigns.
Mobile Contact Acquisition

Similar to email marketing acquisition strategies, marketers must promote their SMS marketing channel if they hope to grow subscribers. Luckily, SMS and email marketing are easy to promote together and leverage similar tactics to optimize sign-ups across web and digital marketing channels. Offering an incentive to sign-up like a coupon or special offer is the top tactic to help boost subscription conversion rates. Businesses need a contact’s mobile number and their opt-in consent to receive SMS text messages.

It’s becoming more ubiquitous to see print advertising and physical signage inside retail stores promoting SMS sign-ups. Simple directions enable users to opt-in with a text to join, followed by an automated SMS message asking to provide their mobile number to opt into the program. Subscribers then receive their initial welcome SMS campaigns. This efficient process makes it possible for shoppers to easily sign up while they’re in the store. Marketers should place text-to-join signage at the front entrance and throughout the store, so shoppers can sign up before heading through the check-out line; eliminating the need for staff to annoyingly collect shoppers’ phone numbers at the register. – Read more

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Solving the Multiple Applications Analytics Challenge with SuiteAnalytics Workbook

My Post - 2020-02-19T120601.352.pngUncovering insights about the business and then properly visualizing the data in a meaningful way can be a challenge even for the best of business analysts. Even with a unified business system like NetSuite, people have turned to other applications or spreadsheets to create pivot tables and charts with their business’s data.

Exporting data from one application to another means dealing with two different user interfaces and taking the time to make sure the data has transferred properly. But more important than a cumbersome user experience and time, it can lead to issues within your data—errors and outdated data are two common ones. Also, adding the extra steps of downloading and uploading can leave you vulnerable to errors sneaking into your data or even increase the chances of user errors. The ultimate goal is to handle the data as little as possible. And in today’s business world, data that is even a day old can be outdated. And nobody wants to use old data to make crucial business decisions.

No longer. The SuiteAnalytics Workbook provides an easy-to-use program directly within NetSuite that helps turn real-time data into easy-to-read charts and pivot tables, helping businesses make faster and better decisions to help grow their business.

Here are some of the benefits that SuiteAnalytics Workbook can provide. It’s a powerful, secure way to explore and visualize your data.

  • Real-Time – When making key business decisions, the closer to real-time the data is the better. Workbook allows you to pull and easily show real-time business results. You can also set up automated reports so that you have up to date numbers on a standard cadence and that are easily sharable.
  • Instant Value – Pre-built templates ensure that business users can easily create Workbooks on the fly without writing a single line of code or complex queries, to seek the desired information quickly. Workbooks is already included with SuiteAnaltyics and comes with more than 15 templates – created with multiple key areas of business in mind: commerce search analysis, production costing, procurement, inventory and supply chain.
  • Customizable – Workbook allows you to start with a template then customize it based on your business needs and create sophisticated criteria filters which can be saved, shared and reused.
  • Data Visualization –Workbook includes built-in charts, tables and dashboards helping you visualize your data with simple steps to identify real-time patterns. We’ve included up-to-date sorting and filtering capabilities to ensure it‘s easier to read and understand in terms of trending or a timeline. For example, you can sort the “X” axis by the quarter and see production costs per each month ordered per quarter.

As data becomes more and more important to business decisions, having real-time, easy-to-read data at the fingertips is crucial. With SuiteAnalytics Workbook, you have a program that includes an already familiar interface and have the ability to pull in reports from other programs. It’s a streamlined experience to help grow your business easier and faster. – Read more

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5 Ways Cloud ERP Cures Furniture Retailers’ Biggest Headaches

My Post - 2020-02-17T172430.547.pngWith annual revenues of about $114 billion, the U.S. retail furniture market has been on a steady growth curve over the past few years. Driven by a strong national economy, the industry is seeing healthy growth in its ecommerce sales as furniture shopping becomes increasingly popular among millennials.

The furniture industry is also facing its fair share of challenges. For example, delivering an omnichannel experience has become an imperative and online furniture retailers are eating away at brick-and-mortar profits. Historically focused on getting a certain number of people through their front doors, and then converting about 25% of them into paying customers, retail furniture stores have also watched that foot traffic dwindle over the past two decades.

“Closing percentages have gone up,” said Rich Rotman, Senior Solutions Consultant at 5-Star NetSuite Provider Centium Consulting, Inc., “but traffic has plummeted.”

These realities have created both concern and panic for furniture retailers, many of which are beginning to develop their first ecommerce storefronts.

Making the Move to the Cloud 

Working with furniture retailers whose annual revenues range from $20 million to $500 million, the Centium team sees firsthand the obstacles these organizations face in the race to digitize their operations and serve their online customers. Exacerbating the challenges is a workforce where salespeople aren’t generally tech-savvy, and where customer databases are both outdated and stored in on-premises, legacy systems.

To overcome these obstacles, furniture retailers not only need robust, engaging ecommerce storefronts, they also need unified cloud technology systems that integrate well with other applications. Learn more by downloading the Centium kit.

“The industry as a whole has been dogged by legacy applications,” said

Brian Denham, Centium’s President. “It’s also using applications with industry-specific functionalities, with the end result being a lot of information silos and systems that don’t ‘talk’ to one another.”

These siloed systems can create major bottlenecks for furniture retailers. For example, Centium recently worked with one company that couldn’t even extract simple cashflow statements from its stores.

“They can’t even figure out their cash position, which is pretty unbelievable in this day and age,” said Denham. “The company’s applications are so siloed that even getting this very basic level of information is impossible.”

5 Ways Cloud ERP Supports Furniture Retailers 

An industry where everything from purchasing to ordering to managing salesperson commissions is handled manually, the furniture industry is ripe for automation. Here are some of the biggest advantages that retailers gain by implementing NetSuite’s cloud ERP:

  1. Effectively manage stackable promotions. With NetSuite’s built-in functionality, the retail furniture industry can more effectively manage stackable promotions—those that include a certain product, a financing deal and free shipping, for example—which are extremely popular among furniture buyers. “Most software platforms can’t handle two promotions at the same time,” said Rotman, “let alone three or four.” NetSuite can easily work with multiple offers being applied to the same customer order.
  2. Take off the legacy system handcuffs. “We’re at a point where these companies really need to evolve, and their legacy systems are keeping them stuck in a box,” Rotman said. “The great thing about NetSuite is it allows you to evolve your business without being handcuffed. If you want to change your business model, alter the way you do things, or move from being a special-order retailer to one that holds more inventory, NetSuite can handle it all for you.”
  3. Manage multiple commission structures. Centium recently worked with a furniture retailer that used roughly 25 different commissions across multiple sales forces. All of those allocations and distributions were handled manually—a process that ate up time, money and valuable human resources. That company has since automated the process using the standard version of NetSuite, versus a customized solution that might have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
  4. Print and change merchandise tags on the fly. The cloud ERP system also features saved searches, customized templates and scheduling capabilities that allow furniture retailers to more readily print up merchandise tags for its showroom products. It also enables quick switching up of those tags when, say, a holiday promotion kicks in. “This is a feature that many retailers don’t catch onto until after the ERP has been implemented,” said Rotman, “and it’s a nice surprise for anyone who was handling the process manually.”
  5. Provide a better customer experience. Operating in an industry where a good customer experience is paramount—and where the nearest competitor is now just a single screen tap or mouse click away—furniture retailers also need good customer case management capabilities. “With NetSuite,” said Rotman, “retailers can customize their customer support to provide a much better experience than they ever could with a legacy system.”

– Read more

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