Use SMS for a Tailored and Engaging Shopping Experience

“Give customers a great experience, and they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends. That’s what every company strives for.” - PwC 

The retail space, both in-store and online, is a hugely competitive market with brands competing across a variety of platforms for customer engagement. Customers aren’t just looking for products anymore – those can be easily sourced – what the modern customer is looking for is a memorable shopping experience. According to PwC, a truly good customer experience consists of ‘Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And human touch—that is, creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences. 

But how is it possible to create this human connection with technology? By using the right technology and tailoring your message! SMS remains a preferred customer communication tool and through an SMS API or SMS Gateway, you can deliver tailored messages to a larger audience.

What is an SMS Gateway?

This is basically a way to connect with thousands of customers across the world on a platform they know and love. Using a website, an SMS API or SMS Gateway allows your business to send tailored messages to your customer (or potential) customer base, at an incredibly low cost. 

What are some of the ways to use SMS for retail?

When you integrate SMS or Text API with your system, you’re able to communicate directly with your customers, learn more about them, and tailor your messaging accordingly. To give you some idea of how this makes for a better shopping experience, we’ve put together a few examples. 

1. Launches

When it comes to launching a new product, you want as much reach as possible, and that’s where SMS is such a handy tool. If it’s something that will appeal to a large audience, you can send out an SMS to your customer base encouraging them to check out the latest offer. However, if you have insight into your customers, you can tailor this by targeting those you know the product will appeal to. You can mention that you know they’ve previously been interested in one product and might be interested to learn a bit more about your latest innovation. 

2. Reminders

If your company is based on a subscription model, then you can tailor your SMS service to remind customers when a subscription renewal is required. This works really well for streaming services and online content. In the healthcare industry, prescription renewals can also be communicated via your SMS Gateway or SMS API platform. 

3. Suggestions

You can also use the SMS platform to provide tailored suggestions to your customers based on previous activity or purchases. For streaming content, as an example, you can SMS the latest shows, movies, or other releases that might be of interest to a particular customer group. If you sell products such as cosmetic items, you can send well-timed SMS suggestions about replenishing their stock if it’s getting low. 

4. Showing appreciation

Companies that are committed to customer loyalty will show it through polite engagement. With an SMS Gateway, this means sending a well-timed ‘thank you’ text to your customer upon conclusion of a sale. This also serves as a confirmation that their order has been received and is being processed, providing them with peace of mind.

5. Updates

Once a customer has made a purchase, the communication cannot simply end there. You need to provide them with ongoing status updates regarding the product shipping and delivery, all of which can be done via SMS. When things go wrong in the supply chain – as has been the case with the pandemic, strikes and political conflict – then you can alert customers to the fact that there are unexpected delays, while updating them on the new delivery time. While somewhat disappointing, a customer will be pleased with the fact that you’ve kept them updated and are being open about what is happening. 

6. Discounts

Once you develop customer profiles based on usage, behaviour, and purchases, you can use this data to better tailor future interactions with your customers. This allows incredible cross-selling and upselling opportunities. If a customer bought some swimwear, they might also be interested in other swimwear or water-sports equipment which can be shared with them. This works best if you offer discounted rates on future purchases or alert them to sales on these items.  

7.  Tips

You can also use your SMS platform to let customers know a bit more about the product they’ve bought. This is incredibly useful information, but also great for the brand itself. This could be helpful tips, instructions on use or any other relevant information.

8. Surveys and referrals

You need to know what your customers think about your service if you’re going to improve and, as they say, there is always room for improvement. Send an SMS with a short survey (emphasis on short!) to your customers after they make a purchase to learn more about their experience. You can also encourage them to refer you to other potential customers if they’ve enjoyed shopping with you for impactful word-of-mouth marketing.

What are some tips for tailoring SMS?

If you’re looking at tailoring your SMS messaging for a better shopping experience, you can consider some of these elements for the best results. 

  • Remember cultural sensitivity

  • Keep updated on local stories and events for references

  • Use regional phrases and spelling where you can

  • Keep track of events, festivals, holidays, and more that could tie into your marketing

  • Monitor the weather as this can impact things like clothing sales and equipment

  • Keep an eye on current events and political happenings as this could impact messaging and delivery 

Why choose Clickatell?

For the ultimate Retail Digital Experience, you should consider working with Clickatell. Through Clickatell’s SMS Gateway, you will be able to send and receive bulk SMS messages from more than 1000 mobile networks to over 220 countries and territories using a cloud-based interface. Make connecting with customers that much easier and ensure they’re enjoying a superior shopping experience every time.


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