5 Ways to Use SMS to Save Money and Improve Your Retail Business
Every good retail business owner knows that the key to success is keeping his or her customers happy. Your level of customer service should be all encompassing to succeed and should consist of more than just being polite to the customer at the till.
Today, customers are expecting more from retail businesses than ever before and want their lives to be as easy as possible, which new technology can assist with. It is detrimental for a business to rest on its laurels and keep its old processes in the internet age, as this will not match up to customer expectations and could lose you business.
With SMS marketing, you can gather customer feedback, confirm delivery times, remind customers of appointments or to pick up items that have been pre-ordered, send purchase confirmations and receipts and let customers know of any suitable products and services for their needs. Below are just five ways you could be making the most of SMS marketing for your retail business:
1. Customer Feedback
It’s important for any retail business to know what their customers think about them and what they are saying through word of mouth to others. This can be difficult to gauge sometimes, especially if your business depends on foot traffic that might never come in again. SMS messaging could solve all your problems in this regard. If you are sending receipts to customers through SMS, you can get their number in this method, or ask customers at the checkout to sign up with their details for customer feedback or offers. A text can be sent to customers on a regular basis asking them to rate your service or leave a few words of feedback. Because customers use their mobile phone so frequently, it is far more likely that they’ll take a moment to send a SMS message than they will to fill out an email or written feedback form. Some feedback ideas include asking your customers to rate your service on a numerical scale, a rating of your products or yes/no questions that you would like further information on.
2. Advertise Products and Services
One of the main and most rewarding uses of SMS marketing is the ability to make customers aware of new products that would be suitable for their needs. If you keep a database of customer contact details and can record what your customers have purchased, it’s easy to create targeted marketing campaigns that have more of an impact, than a general marketing campaign that seeks to meet the needs of everyone.
3. Remind Customers of Appointments
If your business involves dealing with customers on an appointment basis, you’ll know just how much money missed appointments can cost you. With the advent of SMS business messaging, you can send customers reminders of appointments the day before they are due and on the day itself, increasing the amount of appointments customers attend and keeping costs low but profits high for your business.
4. Send Receipts
It’s inconvenient for both you and your customers to hand out paper receipts and purchase confirmations. Businesses also struggle with customers returning items without receipts, as often they can’t prove that the customer bought the product in store, but feel obliged to swap or refund to keep the person as a customer. With SMS marketing, receipts can be issued by text to customers, allowing the customer to have a convenient record of their purchase and to let you do an exchange or refund with the confidence that you are really dealing with your own product and know exactly what date it was bought on. Also, this means you no longer have to worry about faded receipts – with SMS messaging you can see all the details in high quality without having to decipher whether the customer paid £80 or £20. Sending receipts or purchase confirmations by text may seem like a small thing, but implementing something like this shows your customers that you care enough to make their life easier and can make all the difference to the feedback customers give your business.
5. Delivery Confirmation
We all know what it’s like to get frustrated when expecting a delivery. It’s inconvenient for the customer to have to stay in all day waiting for their item when, in reality, a delivery takes just a few minutes; people sometimes sacrifice a whole paid day at work if the item is important and there’s no one else there to take delivery of the package. With SMS messaging, this can all change. A text can be sent to the customer when their item is dispatched to confirm a date, then on the day before and on the day of delivery to confirm the time period the product will arrive in. This also benefits you and your delivery drivers, as there’s less chance your customer gets fed up waiting, goes out and you have to deliver again. By doing this, you can show that you value your customers’ time and increase the chances of them using your service again as they will realise just how convenient it is.
Here at FastSMS we can tailor our service to suit your business needs exactly for less than you may think. Our friendly and well trained staff will be happy to advise you with any questions you might ask. We allow you to send messages from our browser based platform through any internet enabled device, allowing great flexibility in the service we provide to you. Our API also allows you to integrate our SMS messaging service with a wide range of other software programmes you may use, making the installation of this service a breeze. Contact us today for more details and to take your business to the next level.
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.
The British Equestrian Trade Association’s findings from their National Equestrian Survey 2015 put the economic value of the equestrian sector at £4.3 billion of consumer spending across a wide range of goods and services, with the average spend per horse during the same year at £3600. It is an incredibly varied industry encompassing all types of businesses from sole traders making a living in remote areas to multinational companies. Their customer base typically tends to be busy people who lead largely outdoor lifestyles so the obvious and most effective means of communicating with them is by mobile phone, yet very few equestrian businesses appear to be utilising SMS text messaging marketing. So how could businesses in this sector benefit from this method of marketing?
In many ways, SMS messaging is so commonplace people don’t think about it. They just do it. For example, using SMS for mobile marketing in retail is a fairly standard use case whether you’re a company or the consumer. But there are always exceptions – those who innovate when it seems there’s nothing new to be had. Here are two examples of companies from the US using SMS in ways no one else is – yet.
Global brands are increasingly taking advantage of a Short Message Service (SMS) to connect to customers and improve customer communication and engagement. This trend is taking root amongst small companies too, as they grasp the potential to not only communicate effectively in real-time but use SMS to save time and money in their customer relations procedures.
SMS marketing or short messaging service marketing is swiftly gaining popularity all over the world. Using text messages for business purposes is convenient and quick. It's also extremely cost-effective when compared to other methods of communication. When used correctly, an SMS marketing campaign can do wonders for your business reputation, not to mention your profits.
Almost any business, or even a not-for-profit company, can take advantage of the frenzy of sporting events, like The Olympics. Especially when you combine it with mobile marketing. That’s because there are plenty of fans, and their devices, here in the UK.
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.
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.
Mobile Marketer is holding the mCommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2016 today in New York City. And you'll get to find out what happens when I get back and write about it next week. But today, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at what I'm seeing in New York at this moment. Before I do though, be sure to check our fastsms Twitter feed throughout the day. I'll be sharing the best tidbits as they come up in each session as they happen.