After a year-long dip, household cash flow will begin growing again right after Christmas, and accelerate through the New Year … That’s good news for retail sales after a yearlong struggle to keep up with inflation.” - CNBC
We’re entering the busiest and most important time of year for those in retail with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, end-of-year bonuses and the holiday season. After three years of pandemic stress and uncertainty, consumers are ready to celebrate and spoil themselves and their loved ones as economies pick up worldwide. But are retailers ready for this? Many are not, particularly those who haven’t yet considered alternative platforms for connecting with customers – such as Chat Commerce.
If you’re in a public place right now and look around, you’re likely to see a large portion of people looking at their mobile phones. And the percentage of those who are already on their phones are, more often than not, communicating on an app. Chat commerce is simply bringing retail into the chat apps that your customers are already using.
What started as conversational commerce (also known as conversational messaging) has now evolved into chat commerce, allowing your customers to connect with you on chat. There’s no need for them to download new apps – which is always a major stumbling block – or to go to another website to pay. It’s all done in one convenient place; simply, safely, and effectively.
It seems like a good idea, but many retailers don’t fully grasp exactly how chat commerce drives product sales. The more you use it, the more possibilities will be made available, but to give you some idea of just why chat commerce is the best tool for retailers, we’ve outlined some practical examples.
You’re preparing for Black Friday or Cyber Monday and this is the perfect time to offload that older inventory before the new models arrive ahead of Christmas. With your chat commerce platform, you can alert your customers to the fact that you have limited stock available, or offer promotions and discounts to move stock that much quicker.
If you’re looking to expand your customer base ahead of the holiday rush, you can use chat commerce to share loyalty rewards programmes and encourage word-of-mouth advertising for discounts.
This time of year means a lot of family gatherings and a need for food deliveries – sometimes last minute. If you’re in the restaurant business, you can use chat commerce to facilitate food orders and deliveries so no hungry family members are hanging around.
Your customers might want to send gifts, flowers or vouchers to family and friends in far-flung areas, but they’re not quite sure how to go about it. It’s simple – via chat commerce! They can do their holiday shopping and have it wrapped and delivered without even leaving the house.
At this time of year, a lot of people are doing some online browsing looking for that perfect gift or a great deal to gift themselves. They might even place the items in an online cart to consider later, but then they forget about it and move on. Using chat commerce, you can send a gentle reminder to your customers, giving them reasons to finalise that sale.
Through chat commerce, you’re also getting a much better idea of who your customers are and what they want. You can then use this information and message them some associated products for cross-selling. Likewise, you can see what they’ve chosen and suggest something newer and better for some up-selling.
You’re getting a great idea of how simple and effective Chat Commerce is, but as with any communication platform, you need to engage with your customers on a level that’s relatable – and welcome. If you start harassing customers with over communication, they’re going to simply move over to the next retailer who’s taking a different approach. Here are some tips to consider so you’re getting the most out of Chat Commerce.
1. Creating awareness
As mentioned, this platform is ideal for creating brand awareness, whether it’s through product discounts or launches, or simply by engaging with customers when they get in touch. That’s why it’s important to be quick in responding to customers with the information they need. You can do this by automating a welcome message as well as responses to FAQs so they’re getting input 24/7. However, you will need to avoid spamming customers and scaring them away.
2. Be concise
When a customer gets in touch, they don’t want an essay sent back, they want to scan your response to get what they need. That’s why it’s important to provide easy-to-understand FAQs. Short, sharp and informative! And don’t forget that call to action so they’re not left dangling.
3. Follow up
While spamming your customers is an absolute no-no, don’t be afraid to check in with them and follow up on queries or suggest suitable products. Encourage them to return through great specials and discounts tailored to their preferences. You can also use the Chat Commerce platform to send quick surveys. This makes the customer feel appreciated, and it gives you hugely insightful input on your business operations and what you need to change going forward.
4. Be polite
When communicating via chat apps, you do have to be concise but remember that concise mustn’t translate to abruptness. Keep your tone lively and upbeat, and always remember to thank your customers when they’ve completed an order or payment.
It’s clear that Chat Commerce is the ideal accompaniment to retail, but here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer to implement this innovative platform.
Chat Commerce simplifies purchases by connecting with customers on chat apps they already know and love.
Chat Commerce streamlines authentication of the consumer to speed up product discovery to payment.
Chat Commerce is a consumer-centered, mobile-first approach that brings retail into the modern era.
Don’t miss out on the chance to boost those Black Thursday and holiday season sales. Contact Clickatell to discover how easy it is to create a new revenue channel, and impress your customers with Chat Commerce.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.