When It Matters Most, Shoppers Welcome Texts

  • October 17, 2017 at 1:04 PM EDT
  • By Glenn Taylor
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While shoppers typically prefer to receive messages from retailers via email (especially for record-keeping), they’re warming up to text messages and push notifications. Now, 36% of shoppers prefer to receive order updates via text message, while 34% like to receive texts about customer service issues, according to a survey from Narvar.

While these shoppers are growing more comfortable the immediacy of text messages, they prefer them to be sent when the importance of the situation warrants the intrusion:

  • 73% of shoppers consider messages containing order tracking information to be “very important;”

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  • 46% say customer service messages are “very important;” and

  • 84% say more communication is critical if the purchase is an expensive one.

Among Millennials aged 21 to 29, 43% prefer to receive order updates as text messages, more than any other generation:

  • 39% of shoppers aged 30-44;

  • 32% of shoppers aged 45-59; and

  • 28% of shoppers 60 or older.

The survey recommends that retailers seek permission to contact these shoppers, using different channels to maximize engagement and build trust.

88% Of Under-30 Shoppers Want To Problem-Solve On Their Own

When an interaction with a retailer escalates to a problem, the majority of shoppers will try first to resolve the issue on their own. Those under 30 are most likely to prefer to fix problems themselves using the retailer’s web site or chat technology. In fact, 88% of under-30 Millennials and 73% of shoppers aged 60 or older will try to find an answer to the problem themselves when they encounter an issue with a retailer.

But this doesn’t mean skilled customer support teams will go extinct. As many as 55% of Millennials aged 21 to 29 prefer to talk to a person to resolve a problem, compared with 72% of shoppers aged 60 or older.

In the future, retailers must adopt a hybrid model that applies technology to offer better self-service options but escalates higher-level issues to humans. That means they should employ live agents to fix complex problems and calm down frustrated customers, while bots can help with simple requests, such as answering questions about order status.

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