By Lanre Mebude on Jun 5, 2019 11:23:25 AM
In today’s market, your customers are using multiple types of communication tools. What we have learned is how important it is to meet your customers where they are, so it’s not surprising that today, most if not all brands have adopted a multichannel customer engagement strategy.
An important distinction to make is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel. A multichannel strategy refers to the use of many channels to communicate with your customers; while an omnichannel refers to the use of multiple channels that are then integrated to work with one another.
A robust omnichannel strategy can dramatically enhance the customer experience and lead to higher retention rates and ROI.
We’ve listed 3 ways retailers can incorporate SMS messaging into their omnichannel strategy, to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience allowing them to switch between various channels to make a purchase or find a resolution.
1. Click and Collect
Click & Collect or ‘Pay online and Pick up in store’ (not as catchy) is an excellent example of how some retailers are providing an omnichannel experience for its customers. It provides a seamless experience for the buyers as it allows them to switch from online to offline. A study from Cybertil reports that 75% of UK shoppers use click and collect services with retailers experiencing a 65% conversion in additional sales - a stat not to be ignored!
So how does this service work with SMS?
Once the buyer has ordered the item online, they choose to collect this from the store. They receive an SMS after the order is placed that contains the collection/order information, and once their order is ready for pickup from in-store, they will be notified by SMS as well. It’s no longer one channel to complete the order; you have web, SMS, and in-store all coming together in a unified way.
69% of customers see SMS as a convenient way for businesses to communicate with them, and at least 60% see click and collect messages as their preferred method of notification.
2. ‘Complete your Shop’ Reminders
Since the introduction of digital or online shopping, retailers face a common issue; cart abandonment. Recent statistics say there is a cart abandonment rate of at least 75% within the retail sector. Cart abandonment can be due to unexpected costs, technical issues, or more commonly ‘digital window-shopping’ or browsing.
Cart abandonment can’t be eliminated; however, incorporating SMS into your omnichannel strategy can help remedy the issue by sending a reminder to ‘complete your shop.’ This message is sent when a website or app notices a customer hasn’t completed their purchase. A simple ‘complete your shop’ SMS reminder with a link to click will drive the customer back to the web or mobile app to complete their purchase providing a seamless omnichannel experience for your consumer.
Reminder notifications aren’t new as some retailers already offer this via email, but very few utilize the SMS channel. With SMS having an open rate of 98% and being read in under 3 minutes, your customers are more likely to respond to the message which could lead to higher conversions in customers returning to the cart and completing the purchase.
3. Adding Shortcodes into your Marketing Campaigns
Whether it’s a poster at a bus stop, or a billboard in one of the busiest shopping centers in the city, non-digital ads struggle more and more to receive the same amount of attention as their digital counterparts and at times can seem like a wasted expense. Instead of abandoning these advertising methods, you need to tailor them to reach the customer in a better way. Incorporating shortcodes in your marketing campaigns can add to the omnichannel experience. By placing a shortcode on a poster, magazine or billboard you give potential customers a way to quickly register their number and to immediately engage with your brand by directing them to your website, mobile app, or send them to your nearest store through an SMS message.
For example, you could incorporate a short code on an ad for a fashion retailer displaying the latest summer releases. This campaign could include:
- A link to the nearest stores, thereby encouraging the customer to visit a store and saving them the hassle from searching for one.
- A time-sensitive coupon that incentivises the customer to make a purchase immediately and decreases the likelihood of cart abandonment.
- Details on the products in the ad and a link to a digital cart to make a purchase.
Omnichannel needs SMS Messaging
Mobile is a vital part of a successful marketing campaign today, and SMS is still one of the most utilized and effective communication channels in the world. Integrating SMS messaging into your omnichannel marketing is the next step to ensuring that your strategy is tailored to reach, retain, and engage your customers. It’s all about bringing these various channels together creating a seamless experience for your users.