It’s a new world out there, and the way shoppers are buying has changed. Retailers, both walk-in and online, have seen a huge influx in online traffic and a need for better remote communication.
According to the 2020 State of Local Business Report, shoppers are almost twice as likely (1.8x) to prefer text messaging over any other communication method, including email and phone calls. 41% of shoppers also say they’re more interested in texting with a business now than they were prior to COVID-19.
The convenience of texting is obvious; email has become the new snail mail and consumers are bombarded by a constant stream of impersonal marketing mailers. SMS offers personalized, to-the-point messaging preferred by customers. We already know from Forbes that 95% of SMS Messages are read within 3 minutes of being received – that’s great for a flash sale or a delivery update!
Customer Support vs Marketing – Or Both?
With this dramatic shift in consumer behavior, companies have to change the way they communicate. Businesses can approach SMS from both a support and a lead-generating perspective, so which kind of messages do customers prefer to receive?
In the US, the State of Texting 2021 report found appointment reminder texts were found to be the most valuable from a business (64% of consumers surveyed), followed by updates on shipments (48%) and discounts on products or services (29%).
While mobile marketers may raise an eyebrow at the apparently lower value of offering discounts via SMS – there’s good news. A Yotpo 2020 survey found that if messages are personalized, 54% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase and 41% are willing to share information with a brand.
SMS Messages with enticing links receive a 28% click-through rate versus a 2.6% average for emails – a whopping difference!
How easy is it for retailers to use SMS?
With platforms like Babeltext, both Customer Service & Marketing teams can utilize SMS to communicate with retail customers. The platform set-up and staff training only takes a couple of hours – but for customers, the change couldn’t be simpler.
Currently, consumers of online retailers will click through to the Contact Us page and proceed to either call the support line or send a form. The phone line may be unmonitored or have long wait times, whereas the form submission will likely take 3-5 days to get a response.
With an SMS platform in use, retailers need only add their SMS number to their Contact Us page (we recommend this being the first point of contact), and customers will start utilizing it!
This Contact Us page example shows English and Chinese instructions for contacting the retailer.
Help all customers buy from your store!
An additional benefit of SMS is the ability to translate. If you’re a retailer or wholesaler dealing with customers of multiple demographics, then adding a translation to your Contact Us page (as per the example above) is a great way to capture, assist, and retain customers who don’t speak English.
Babeltext allows you to globalize your customer service in 109 languages, and your staff will always receive messages from any language fully translated into English. When they reply to the customer, the message will be translated back into the customer’s preferred language.
Unsure? Get a free demo of Babeltext
If you’re a retailer considering SMS Messaging for your business, ask for a no-obligation 15-minute virtual demo of Babeltext. We’d love to help you reach your customers easier than ever before, and your staff will thank you for it!