The year 2020 has increased our trajectory into the digital world. We have become fully immersed in all things digital as it has become our key medium of communication to the outside; particularly considering social distancing restrictions.

Although, with our increase in screen time, sometimes is there is nothing better than taking a break and turn the page over a freshly bought paperback book.

However, publisher of The Johannesburg Review of Books, Ben Williams notes that

At the end of June, halfway through the year, and following a month’s closure of all book retail outlets during the April lockdown, annual retail sales for the South African industry are down more than 20%. Given that April only represents 16% of the half-year, this more-than-the-rate-of-days-lost-to-lockdown decline does not bode well.

With these kinds of stats, let us look at how RMS can be the solution for book sales and publishing industry.

The current publishing and bookselling landscape

The UK’s publishing and bookselling industry is one that South Africa pays close attention too when it comes to industry trends. Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association says it is important to consider that

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, the industry was flourishing, with 2019 being the strongest year in the history of publishing. These robust figures reflect people’s ongoing need and desire for books.

[The figures] tell a story of pre-COVID success, but they do not reflect the significant challenges that publishers have faced during this pandemic. Despite those difficulties, we know that many people have continued to look to books for solace, enlightenment and entertainment.” 

This means that the notion of printed books has not lost their magic touch and still bring about “new levels of hunger for content” particularly through the physicality of printed word providing a wealth of information.

Let’s look at how RMS can help publishers and particularly booksellers to reconnect and interactive with their consumers during these times and avoid the anticipated decline of 75% in revenue due to COVID-19.

What is RMS [Rich Message Services]?

RMS allows you to discover the power to create your own personalised, feature-rich customer interaction and marketing campaigns with iTouch RMS

The communications tech we have known and loved since the 1990s are starting to show their age. They just do not perform the way we are used to and come to expect in recent years. For example, they do not support read receipts, group messaging, or the animated stickers everyone likes to trade on apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp etc

They rely on a cellular connection, a signal, and a limit of just 160 characters to say what is on your mind. However, with RMS, that can all change.

RMS has rich features such as high-res photo and video sharing, mapping directions, location sharing, typing indicators, the ability to add and remove members to group chats, and so much more, can be delivered to a device's default messaging app irrespective of the network the user is on.

These features can be used in campaigns such as:

  • Surveys - Data collection
  • Graphics & Video - Rich content
  • Social Media - Interactive
  • Voucher Redemption - Loyalty programme & much more

These kinds of campaigns can help you understand what your consumer is looking for and what they are drawn towards in terms of reading material. Having discounted deals and loyalty points might be that extra step you need to persuade your consumer to buy more than they need. With this solution, publishers could inform booksellers and consumers about new material coming out and create the excitement needed for your consumers to actively buy and support the industry, particularly during these tough times – all you need is RMS to inform and advertise it to them

RMS can

  • Have an interactive, password-protected SMS protocol.
  • Send rich media campaigns to improve customer interaction.
  • Securely send insurance policy schedules, invoices, statements, and payslips.
  • Support feature phones and smartphones.
  • Start group chats, send video and audio messages.
  • Receive read receipts.
  • See real-time responses being typed

RMS allows you to achieve all of this and no matter what the message contains, it gives you the advantage of being delivered to the user’s default messaging app. This means that your campaign can reach a wider range of consumer whether they own a smartphone or not. 

So let’s connect with your existing consumer bases and find new ones and we can guide you to the latest in technologies and tailor-make that which best suits your business. 

Contact our team directly:

Cwenga Mgqobozi              Craig Berry
Product Specialist              Sales Director
+27 60 810 6151              +27 83 299 9903 

or email us at