The two biggest shopping seasons are already almost here, which means retailers need to start preparing for a massive influx of consumers. While Black Friday was once limited to American shoppers looking for post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas deals, it has since become a global shopping day. According to Hult International Business School, global interest in Black Friday has grown, year-on-year, by 117% for the past five years – peaking in South African at 9900%.
Similarly, the festive season still remains one of the biggest consumer holidays, with spending starting around Black Friday weekend and extending well into January when the sales get started. According to Financial Holdings, holiday shopping made up almost 20% of the total annual retail income – which is a significant chunk!
And the modern shopper is not necessarily waiting in queues outside brick-and-mortar stores, they’re more likely sitting at their laptops or on their phones, hoping to secure the latest deals online. In fact, research shows that Black Friday 2020 was the second-highest online spending day in American history, bringing in a total of $9 billion. That’s why retail solutions need to include all effective online retail commerce platforms, from clothing chat through to grocery commerce!
This is where your business leverages the incredible benefits of chat to engage your retailers and secure even more sales. Chat can facilitate business engagements with your customers all through their favourite chat apps, whether this is SMS, WhatsApp, or another. They don’t have to download an app to engage with you, visit your website, or even go to your store, they can just communicate, browse, and purchase via chat.
As the build-up to Black Friday and the festive season gains momentum, retailers are going to start experiencing an overwhelming influx in queries related to products and offerings, as well as a spike in purchases. This will culminate in a massive flood of queries on Black Friday as well as Christmas Eve, with customers demanding personalized attention to convert sales. Here’s a look at how retail commerce can help.
1. Engage consumers quickly
There is so much competition in the online retail space, and one of the biggest challenges for retailers is simply getting noticed. This is where chat can really help. A consumer will start searching various websites, looking for the perfect Christmas present or ultimate Black Friday deal ahead of time, until they finally land on your site. The chat icon will pop up, offering to help your potential customer in finding that perfect gift. Through the chat platform, customers can access detailed product listings, including the prices and availability.
2. Up-selling and cross-selling
Once you’ve engaged with customers on your retail chat platform, you can assist them in finding other, related items that could make the perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends. You can prompt them by asking who they’re looking for and share suggested products that are on special, or other discounted offers coming up. Where a customer arrived on your site looking for one product, they could actually leave having bought a number of items, with you now establishing a great relationship for future sales.
3. Connect with your customer base early
If you already have an established customer base, you can rely on this data to create a connection with them long before Black Friday or Christmas. Through chat, you can share the specials and deals you’ll be advertising and get them to book a purchase now so they don’t miss out. This sort of customer engagement not only decreases the pressure and urgency ahead of Black Friday and the festive season, but it will also help cement the relationship with your customer as it makes them feel special.
4. Pay using Chat Commerce
Chat is a holistic retail solution as it not only allows your customers to find and book the Black Friday and festive season deals that they want, it also facilitates safe and secure payments. This makes it much more likely that you’ll finalize the sale, rather than sitting with a number of abandoned shopping carts. The customers will click on a link that redirects to a secure site, and you can also offer them a range of payment options, via apps, EFT, credit card, or more.
5. Monitor the order status
It’s no good buying the product for Christmas and it arrives after the fact. With this chat retail solution, your customers are able to monitor the status of the order, from payment through to delivery. If there are any unexpected delays, these can be quickly communicated with customers so they’re not left frustrated. And because you’re connecting with customers in good time, there should be less of a backlog – as is often experienced during Black Friday and the festive season. A two-way messaging system will also allow them to query the status of the order so they’re always kept informed.
Retail commerce is the obvious next step in online shopping solutions, yet some companies are still hesitating in integrating this dynamic offering. Here’s why you should consider implementing chat when rolling out your Black Friday or festive season campaign:
- Immediate customer service
No matter where in the world your potential customer is shopping from, or what time of day it may be, they’re able to get an immediate response through your retail chat offering. The chatbot will provide them with all the necessary information they require through frequently asked questions and available product guides. Without this immediacy, you could very easily lose out on potential sales.
Modern chatbots can provide a seamless user engagement that provides the customer with personalized care and attention. No matter how many times the customer asks the same question, the chatbot isn’t going to get annoyed or frustrated. This makes for a much more positive interaction.
- Cost savings
By incorporating these chat retail solutions, you’re speeding up your response time, securing more sales, freeing up customer service agents, and – effectively – saving on costs while driving up revenue.
No matter what goods your customers are looking for ahead of Black Friday and the festive seasons, Clickatell’s Chat Commerce can help. If it is items for that Christmas feast, then grocery commerce is the solution. If it’s clothes on a great Black Friday special, then clothing chat it is! Chat promises fantastic retail solutions across the board.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.