Marketers value the high (and fast) consumer open rates for SMS/text and messenger apps, but this can be a double-edged sword: because consumers have become “trained” to answer texts quickly, too many messages can easily become unwelcome interruptions that carry the potential to tarnish brand equity.
The critical elements required for SMS and chat to be win-wins for both retailers and consumers are relevance and context. If a retailer uses location data and AI to proactively craft a message that helps a consumer solve a problem in the immediate moment, the “interruption” will be a welcome one. If a messenger-based chat conversation with a live human gives the consumer more confidence in a high-consideration purchase such as furniture or electronics, both shopper and seller benefit.
This Retail TouchPoints Tech Guide will reveal why use cases for these communication vehicles are increasing:
- Immediacy and access to location data: The COVID-fueled rise of BOPIS and curbside pickup has increased the value of, for example, sending a welcome message to shoppers when they enter a store’s parking lot, with instructions on which space to pull into and a real-time update on whether their order is ready;
- Personalization opportunities: Retailers using their own first-party data about customers’ buying habits and current orders can craft one-to-one messages that can be delivered by their own employees, opening up opportunities for a conversation rather than a one-way blast; and
- Relatively low implementation costs: Because the technology infrastructures to support these solutions are light, even smaller retailers can leverage their first-party customer data to create relevant messaging programs.
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