JD.com and Alibaba create indexes to identify Chinese shoppers’ spending trends, which help retailers gain insight.
Since niche e-commerce site operator Hayneedle Inc. began using StrongMail Systems Inc. for its e-mail marketing in May 2009, it has cut its costs in half while also increasing its e-mail delivery rate from 93.9% in 2008 to 97.5% in 2009.
Hayneedle paid for its previous system using cost-per-thousand, or CPM, rates, which cover the cost of reaching 1,000 consumers. But as the retailer’s e-mail volume increased, it found the CPM pricing model was too costly, says Brad Cundall, customer marketing manager at Hayneedle, No. 69 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “As our customer file grows and our marketing communication got stronger we needed the ability to increase communication without our costs skyrocketing,” he says. By bringing its e-mail marketing in-house by licensing StrongMail software that presumably resides on Hayneedle’s servers and that Hayneedle maintains, Hayneedle cut its costs in half.
"StrongMail offers big savings for a rapidly growing company like ours, while still providing all the features and services offered by traditional e-mail service providers," says Cundall. "The transition to StrongMail was seamless and quickly put an end to our skyrocketing e-mail costs."
Using StrongMail, Hayneedle was also able to automate some of its previously manual processes. "By integrating StrongMail’s reporting with our Oracle business intelligence system, we are able to attach an e-mail status to all customer behavior data," says Cundall. “That allows us to build lifetime value and retention. With StrongMail, we have much better visibility into our mailings, which enables us to react more quickly than were able to before—and that has led to greater customer relevancy, improved conversions and increased revenue."