3 Retail Predictions to Increase Footfalls This Holiday Season with SMS Messaging
Ever since the American-born Black Friday craze hit the UK (and the world) in 2014, retailers struggled to plan for the holiday season. In 2014 it was completely crazy in-store and online. In 2015, high street saw a decline in footfall over the weekend by as much as 4.5%. But online sales boomed.
According to TechRadar, retailers have learned some lessons. Many plan to offer sales during the whole month of November to avoid crowds and website crashes on Black Friday. But how will they bring more people into their stores when price shopping and searching online for the best deals is so easy?
Enter SMS Messaging
We’re just about six weeks before the November sales season begins. Your sales and marketing planning are probably well underway. But if you don’t have SMS marketing in your to-do list you might want to pause and consider it.
Looking at the retail predictions for 2016, there are a few big ones that can help shift the trend towards more footfall this year than last. Here are the biggest predictions and how you can use SMS marketing to stay relevant to your customers:
Click-and-Collect via Mobile
Many retailers already provide a service to have online orders picked up in-store. The prediction for this year is that more people will be doing the ordering from a mobile phone. To deliver the best service, send the customer an SMS update when their order is ready for pickup.
Also, any offers you send via SMS should go directly to a mobile-friendly site that offers click-and collect. It’s more convenient for customers, which means they’ll be more likely to buy from you, and come to your store to collect.
Loyalty Rewards Aren't Enough
Continuing on the theme from the click-and-collect, consumers are putting less emphasis on loyalty rewards. They “prioritise value, track record and convenience” according to vendhq.com. SMS messaging can communicate all three of those to a customer. You make your SMS marketing messages convenient by using links to mobile websites, or easy to show coupons for in-store purchases. If you are consistent in your messages, you’ll have a great track record – right on their mobile. When they look at the latest message, they’ll see all the old ones (does anyone delete old messages?).
It’s important to offer value too – not just for their money but their time as well. So if you want them to visit you in-store, make it worth their while. That doesn’t necessarily mean deep discounts, but perhaps there’s a special event they can only experience in the store. Maybe you offer a bonus item – whatever your customers will value – that they are willing to trade their time to come inside and get. SMS messages are great for these offers because they are so quick. You can announce ahead of time, then send reminders just at the right time when you want them to come to the store.
Make it Personal
One of the most consistent predictions is that shoppers want “Personal Commerce”. SMS messaging can be extremely personal. With a little effort you can send specific offers to different customers. It doesn’t even have to be individual. Simply dividing your list up by demographic or purchasing behaviour can make the offers more relevant which will feel personal. Did a customer spend hundreds on toys last year? Chances are she or he has children in their life. Let them know when the latest toys arrive via SMS so they get a chance to get them before anyone else.
That approach can work for any type of retailer. Use as much information as you have on the customer to create an SMS offer or campaign. The more specific you can be the better, but use what you have and you’ll probably see an upswing in sales.
TechRadar predicts holiday sales in the UK will be £2.2B over the four-day weekend including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shoppers expect stores to be bustling, and may opt to order online. Don’t let them. Use SMS messaging as described above to get them into your store that weekend, and all season long.
Discover how to come up with an SMS marketing campaign in this article which looks under the surface of some of the UK's most successful ever SMS marketing campaigns. Whether you are looking to boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction or help your brand stand out with a unique and memorable promotion, this article shows how a simple approach to SMS messaging can work wonders for your company.
Read some practical advice on how you can use SMS messaging to drive more traffic to your website. Include a shortened url in your SMS marketing message that sends the recipient to a special offers page or a how-to video or even a top-up page for consumables. But make sure the page is mobile friendly.
One mistake some marketers make is assuming people will know what to do when they read an SMS message. After all, they’re short and to the point right? How confusing could they be? On the other hand, when writing every other form of marketing they know that calls to action need to be clear. So, just because you don't have much room, it doesn’t mean you get to leave out your call to action! Saving space and being brief is important though, so take a look at three of the best SMS marketing CTAs you can use.
One of the key takeaways from the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Report was that when mobile is integrated into your marketing strategy, everything performed better. That makes sense when you think about it. Mobile is a unique channel that provides you a direct link to your customers.
Can SMS marketing increase sales numbers? In the next entry of our Results Series you’ll see the kinds of results that real companies achieved. We’ve rounded up sales numbers and timelines to show you how well, and how fast, SMS marketing can improve your sales.
When you think about your SMS marketing campaigns would you label them as fun? Is there any aspect of your SMS marketing or loyalty program that you think customers would call fun? If so, you're going to love what you read in this blog. If not, then you need to read this blog. It turns out that a little bit of fun and games can keep your customers more engaged – and more loyal.
Shoppers are very tech savvy. Even when they shop in store they are using their mobiles to do price comparisons, look up reviews or post on social media. And while your customers are busy using tech, your store needs to be using it too. SMS is one of those technologies that can really enhance the shopping experience whether your shoppers are in store, or not.
Here's a great real life example of how a retailer used text messaging to offer out a discount voucher to customers who had visited their store. Their approach is simple and intelligent and very focused on one segment of their customer base, those who had recently visited a store.
If you've considered SMS marketing to new and existing customers by text message but dismissed it, it really is time to think again. SMS continues to outperform and outreach all the newer models of communication designed to replace it. The latest competitor to run into difficulties against business text messaging is mobile internet advertising.