How retail businesses reach their customers with important updates, deals, and promotions are crucial in increasing sales, boosting brand loyalty, and overall digital customer experience. Unlike email, two-way messaging wins by a landslide when it comes to modern and effective sales and communication tactics. According to Mobile Monkey, “nearly 100% of people that you send SMS are likely to open them. In contrast, only 20% of your email recipients may read them.” Two-way, advanced messaging has proven to be one of the most powerful marketing tools available today. It’s used by all types of brands across the globe, from small businesses to massive, global B2B companies, and any retail business would be behind in the digital CX game if they were not currently optimizing two-way messaging and SMS in their digital strategies.
There are 6.5 billion smartphones worldwide, and cellphones are kept on hand almost 24/7 - all companies should take advantage of this enormous mobile opportunity to connect. And while there is an uptake in two-way messaging and its use in the shopping world, not enough businesses are expanding into this hugely lucrative space. In this piece we’ll not only introduce you to the key benefits of using two-way messaging, but also show you why it’s an absolute must for your ecommerce or retail business.
Two-way, advanced messaging is a way to send campaigns or promotional messages to your customers through text messages, allowing your retail business to interact directly through the channels that your customers already know and love, such as SMS and WhatsApp. Retailers use texting and SMS strategies for many reasons such as to communicate updates, curbside pickup or delivery information, time-sensitive offers, holiday promotions, and other business alerts to their customers.
There are countless ways your retail business can optimize two-way messaging via SMS or WhatsApp to interact with your consumers! Here are just a few, but the potential is never-ending. Advanced messaging allows you to conveniently communicate:
General business information
Information about products and services
Promotions, special offers, deals, and more
Delivery, curbside pick-up, shipping updates
Apply and manage loyalty/rewards programs
1. 24/7 Customer Support
Two-way messaging offers real-time customer support for all, no matter the time zone. This means your customers can reach out to your retail business and get questions about your products, business hours, item restocks, and offers answered instantly!
2. Answer More Customers with Automation
Not only can consumers ask their questions in an instant, but automation also allows for your business to immediately answer without any hassle. Automated two-way messaging systems are extremely capable of answering common inquiries such as business hours, locations, product info, and stock daily.
3. Increased Return on Investment (ROI) and Productivity
The automated use of two-way messaging saves an immense amount of team effort, time, and creates more bandwidth for retailers, allowing them to focus more on scaling the business and other marketing efforts.
4. Lower Operational Costs
Automated messaging alleviates stress from retail store fronts and tedious emails; two-way messaging can deal with smaller, everyday matters more efficiently, significantly reducing your internal business costs by simply implementing a business messaging system. Reduced costs, with increased sales? It is a no-brainer for your retail business.
5. Personalization and Customized Interactions
Two-way messaging acts as a message delivered individually to you as a person and allows for your retail business to talk to customers in a more friendly and personalized way. Customized messages give both your consumers and your brand a huge lift.
Customized communications would have a direct, positive impact on all consumer interactions your retail brand has such as: recommended products and services, promotional newsletters, loyalty or rewards programs, special offers, etc.
6. Lead Generation
Collect customer leads by allowing potential, new customers to sign-up for texts, promotional notifications, or send in one-off questions at their convenience.
7. Nurture Existing Customers and Move Leads through Sales Funnel
Start and maintain customer conversations with follow-up communications of package deliveries or item restocks, allowing them full, 24/7 access to your brand’s customer support. This ensures consumers are never left unheard, and consistently and seamlessly pushed through your sales funnel.
Back in Stock! – With a list of registered customers who have asked to be contacted when certain out-of-stock items become available, you can easily send them a Chat 2 Pay purchase and payment completion within messaging channel) nudge, when the item is back in stock. This makes closing the deal that much easier, without ever leaving chat!
New Product Announcement – When a new retail offering becomes available from your store, conveniently send registered customers a Chat 2 Pay message with the ability to purchase, pre-order, upgrade, or get more information about your newest items!
Cart Abandonment – Send your list of customers who have abandoned shopping carts a little reminder to purchase before the item is all sold out! Two-way advanced messaging makes it easy to never let a sale slip away again.
8. Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention
The key to a retail brand’s success is establishing customer loyalty for improved customer retention through user-friendly and pleasant shopping experiences. Messaging makes for a customizable, personalized, and convenient digital CX that will keep your customers happy, heard, and included.
Loyalty Program or Rewards Program – Loyalty rewards programs are a proven way to increase customer loyalty and significantly drive repeat purchases. Customers can sign up for your retail brand’s program, become a special or VIP member, and receive special offers before others. You can optimize Chat 2 Pay solution to allow them discounts if they order and pay through a payment link via chat!
9. Consistent Customer Engagement
Beyond just promotions and offers, you can message text-to-win sweepstakes and polls and keep your audience entertained and engaged with your brand. Messaging keeps you top of mind among your consumers and will lead to increased engagement and sales!
Storefront Bot – Your retail business would benefit from implementing a simple Customer Service bot that is activated when the customer texts the business, scans a QR code, or clicks a button on the website or app to trigger a text to your business. This would immensely modernize your entire digital customer experience!
10. Customer Feedback
Business text messages offer a quick and direct way of connecting with your current customers. It allows your retail business to ask them straight-forward questions about how your brand is doing in terms of customer experience expectations, and then use that feedback to refine and improve your strategies—all through a few text messages!
This is a wakeup call for retail businesses of all shapes and sizes! It’s time to step it up and communicate with your customers on a personal level. Two-way messaging is the perfect balance of automation with a human touch. It’s unrivaled and sure to spice up your retail brand’s digital customer experience (CX).
Interested in digging deeper on why other businesses are using Advanced Messaging Solutions to engage with their customers? Check out our eBook: The Evolution of Notifications to Chat Commerce to learn more about the messaging revolution, how it is shaping digital commerce, and how you can achieve the ultimate customer experience.
As industry experts, Clickatell can provide you with valuable two-way messaging solutions that allow your business to build meaningful relationships through real-time communication. With the power of automation and advanced messaging, the shopping experience you provide your customers with can reach new heights of modern and innovative digital CX!
Clickatell’s SMS solutions not only enables you to get your messages to the right customers, at the right time, but also ultimately scale your brand, push its global efforts, and significantly increase your revenue. Connect with a Clickatell expert to learn more about how two-way messaging can take your retail business and customer’s shopping experience to the next level.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.