How Retailers Can Recover From the Covid-19 Crisis

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Covid-19 is undoubtedly having huge implications for retailers. According to a recent survey, 85% of businesses in Ireland have either scaled back or shut down. However, many countries are beginning to reopen their stores. With physical shops reopening, there are numerous new processes and changes that need to be implemented. In order for retailers to recover and open successfully, it is vital to adhere to all the necessary regulations and provide reassurance to consumers. With that being said, here are some powerful ways that mobile messaging can help retailers effectively communicate and reassure customers during this time.

Inform customers of the new safety measures

Many people will be concerned about their safety as they begin entering physical retail stores again. A new study found that 33% of consumers answered that they would feel safe shopping in a mall. Therefore, it is critical to keep customers up to date on all the latest guidelines, and advise them of the exact actions that are being put into effect in order to prioritise everyone’s safety.

Though it is important to notify consumers of your policies, sending lengthy text may be quite off-putting, and buyers may be unlikely to retain all the information. However, with Rich Media Messaging (RMM), you can send rich, powerful content that keeps people engaged. These are personalized landing pages that are easily sent via SMS. Some examples of captivating content that you can send to inform your customers include:

  • An image carousel of your new store layouts
  • An instructional video on how to use the hand washing facilities at the store entrance
  • A PDF about the new social distancing and safety guidelines
  • An image diagram of the new store one-way system
  • A map of the stores that are open alongside details of staggered opening hours
  • An informative video outlining all the safety precautions undertaken by staff

How Retailers Can Recover From the Covid-19 rmm

If you need to deliver a quick message on amendments to any of your policies, sending SMS alerts is another great option to keep customers aware of any changes made. With a 98% read rate, it’s the perfect option to ensure your updates are seen.

Boost your online sales with Rich Media Messaging

eCommerce is currently booming. According to recent figures, department stores’ online sales surged by 33.7% compared to the previous year. With more and more people opting to shop online, it is the perfect opportunity to drive traffic to your ecommerce store. There are a number of ways in which Rich Media Messaging (RMM) can help you boost online sales. These include:

  • Promoting your online store: Send engaging messages that include interactive buttons to link directly to your online store. With RMM, your customers can easily access your site in just one click.
  • Delivering promo codes: Send discount codes directly to your customer’s phone to encourage them to make an online purchase.
  • Sending notifications: Notify customers of specific products, such as requested items that are back in stock. As RMM seamlessly integrates with secure payment providers, your customers can purchase the product quickly and conveniently via the message.

Use mobile messaging to assist customers returning to your physical stores

It is clear that more people than ever have taken to online shopping due to Covid-19. One survey even shows that 41% of respondents claimed they currently shop online for purchases they would normally make in-store. Although, that doesn’t mean that people are no longer interested in brick-and-mortar stores. There are many approaches that you can take in order to help consumers navigate your physical store safely.

Sending Rich Media Messages (RMM) or automated SMS to your customers can greatly enhance their experience of brick-and-mortar shopping. Some examples of messages that you can send to your customers are:

  • Click & Collect: By sending an RMM that links to your online click & collect store, customers can pick up their items in the physical store, whilst maintaining the convenience of ordering online. Promoting Click & Collect also helps you manage the number of people browsing your store, as they can simply collect their items and leave quickly and efficiently.
  • Queue Management: With social distancing in place, it may be difficult for customers to physically queue at checkouts. But with automated SMS, customers can virtually check-in to queue up, and be sent a number directly to their phone informing them of their place in the queue. This way, they can conveniently and safely wait for their number to be called to checkout, rather than standing in line.
  • Surveys: Send rich media messaging surveys to customers after they have visited the store to gain feedback on how you can improve their experience.

How Retailers Can Recover From the Covid-19

Optimize your retail contact centre

With stores reopening and processes changing, there may be a big inflow in customers queries and your contact centre may be overwhelmed. According to research, wait times in contact centres skyrocketed by 182% in March this year, compared to that of the previous year. By automating routine tasks and giving customers the opportunity to self-serve, you can not only greatly reduce business costs, but also decrease inbound calls by up to 65%. Some examples of uses for automated SMS include:

  • Informing customers of order confirmations
  • Confirming order cancellations and refunds
  • Notifying customers of when their item will be available to collect in-store

With two-way SMS, customers can also speak with an agent without needing to make a phone call. As SMS typically has a response rate of 90 seconds, it is a quick and convenient way to address customer queries. This optimises contact centre agents’ time and ensures that your customers aren’t waiting long periods of time for their issues to be addressed.

Contact us today to learn more

We have worked with numerous companies to help them operate at their best during a crisis, and we’d love to discuss how our mobile messaging solutions can assist your retail business. If you’d like to learn more about how VoiceSage can help keep customers informed, boost online sales, enhance in-store experience, and optimize the contact centre, contact our team today.

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Published on: 26th May 2020

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