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8 ways mobile messaging can improve business performance for retailers

by Cristina Constandache

May 4, 2021

Mobile marketing never stands still. Thanks to a potent mix of technological innovations and creative app implementation, marketing through mobile keeps evolving, bringing new, compelling ways for businesses to reach their customers. While once mobile marketing was a buzzword for showing ads optimised for mobile, now business messaging gives you one-to-one conversational marketing campaigns, transactional notifications, advanced automated AI tools like chatbots, and 24/7 customer support. Each of these tools lets businesses reach customers directly on their mobiles, for unparalleled intimacy.

In fact, a single messaging app can handle your customers’ needs on every step of the customer journey, whether you are attracting new customers, converting them into paying customers, allowing transactions or staying in contact with them post-purchase. Messaging is an incredibly effective tool for reaching customers, too. Studies show messaging apps have an open rate as high as 75 per cent, which is over 45 times higher than email and nearly three times higher than push notifications. When you contact friends, you don’t email them, you message them. Why would you treat customers any different?

Still not convinced? Here are eight best practice tips for using business messages to boost your profile, increase sales and delight customers.

The power of personal: how business messages can help your business perform better

1. Tell customers about a service they never knew they needed

If your business has a new offering, why rely on ads to spread the word? Messaging can do the job so much better. That was the approach of Fishka, Ukraine’s largest multi-partner loyalty programme.

Fishka turned to Viber in order to encourage customers to switch to its OKKO PAY service (this lets customers pay for fuel, coffee and other goods at the petrol station pump with a contactless transaction from their smartphone, without the need to visit the station building. Since the start of the pandemic the service was especially important for customers keen to stick to social distancing.) By using Viber business messages product to contact customers and spell out OKKO PAY’s benefits, it boosted turnover by over 40 per cent. Now that’s a worthwhile transaction.

2. Act as a personal shopper

Once they know about your offerings, customers need that personal touch to elevate the shopping experience. And just because they can’t get to the store, that doesn’t mean they should miss out on the expertise only a sales assistant can offer. In September 2019, Burberry started rolling out a messaging feature in partnership with Apple which allowed its best customers to text sales associates to make appointments, ask for recommendations and even buy products. It’s the in-store experience, wherever you are.

3. Upsell or cross-sell products

Once you have opened the channels of communication, it makes sense to capitalise by serving customers every which way you can, and that means offering complementary products and services. Upselling and cross-selling will not only increase engagement, they will also generate more revenue. Some e-commerce sites report that cross-selling and upselling account for 35 per cent of their revenue. Look after your current customers, and they will look after your bottom line.

4. Share personalised offers

Another way of recommending products and services adds an even more personal touch. Sure, you could send out one standard ad to all your customers and hope for the best (the ‘spray and pray’ approach). Or you could use a messenger for business, connected to your CRM, to target certain customer segments with highly personalised promos specific to them. Want to send a special offer on kitty litter to someone who regularly buys cat food from you? You can with messaging. Your customers will think you’re the cat’s pyjamas.

5. Enable frictionless ordering

Once customers are ready to buy, you need to make it as easy for them as possible. The more of their time you take up, the less likely they are to buy from you in future. But messengers make buying as quick and easy as messaging a friend.

Just ask startups like Dirty Lemon and Verb Energy. They ask customers for their relevant details when they sign up, and never again. Customers can then just place a new order by sending a single message. Job. Done.

6. Be there for them post-purchase

The customer experience shouldn’t end once they have made a purchase. Chatting through a messaging for business app is an invaluable way to boost customer lifetime value by making it easier for businesses to offer services and for customers to reorder items. It’s also a good chance to check in and make sure they are happy with their purchase. Because manners don’t cost a thing.

Some companies take post-purchase care to the next level. Early-stage startup Taika prints its phone number directly on its ready-to-drink coffee cans, making it easier for customers to ask questions and share feedback about the product. And Equal Parts, a direct-to-consumer cookware brand from Pattern Brands, offers a “text-a-chef” service to help customers with grocery shopping, recipes, and cooking tips. It’s expert knowledge, on tap.

7. Provide delivery updates

Is there anything worse than waiting in for a delivery not knowing when – or if – it will arrive? Don’t keep your customers in limbo – keep them up to date with shipping updates. It will help them manage their expectations and keep them loyal. Because no one wants to wait in any longer than necessary, especially after a year of lockdowns.

8. Keep all related documents in one place

When it comes to future dealings with your company, a single messaging thread containing all your correspondence makes it much simpler to find relevant documents – for example, invoices, warranty documents, user manuals, and so on. It’s much easier than digging through multiple email chains on various topics. Checking into a hotel? Just open your messaging thread with the hotel and quickly find your reservation details. Simple.

These are just some examples of how businesses can use messaging to win their customers’ hearts on every step of the customer journey. It’s impossible to predict what the future will bring, but one thing’s for sure – mobile marketing will keep evolving. Harness the power of messaging today and get a taste of the future of e-commerce.

Tags

messaging
messaging apps
mobile
performance
retail
app
business messages
customer acquisition