Outmuscle the Competition with Chat Retail Solutions

“Leverage the power and potential of technology to provide customers with new and exciting ways to browse, buy and save. Both online and offline, retailers are turning to technology in a number of innovative ways.” - Forbes

According to a CNBC report, economic analysts at Goldman Sachs are predicting that, after a year-long dip, household cash flow is set to accelerate as we approach 2023. As Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, states: “That’s good news for retail sales after a yearlong struggle to keep up with inflation, and for the economy’s ability to avoid a recession.”

This is good news for the retail industry, but it’s even better news for those who are adopting innovative chat retail solutions that connect consumers with businesses through chat. This form of retail digital experience is not only the future of retail, it provides you with the power right now to outmuscle the competition. 

What is chat retail?

Chat retail is an omnichannel retail experience whereby your customers can engage with your business on their preferred chat apps, such as WhatsApp or SMS. Using these platforms, your customers can start and end their entire retail journey, from discovering products and finding information, to making purchases and tracking delivery. It’s a complete digital retail experience that meets the needs of the mobile-first, modern consumer. 

How do you connect with customers at scale?

You no doubt have extensive experience in sending and receiving SMS messages, considering this platform has been around since the early 1990s, but the concept of SMS for business use might still be fairly foreign. Rather than connecting with a few customers, bulk SMS can target thousands of customers across the globe. Here’s how:

  • SMS API: This is a software interface that enables code to send short messages via an SMS Gateway. These SMS APIs are used to bridge the divide between telecommunications networks and the internet.

  • SMS Gateway: This is basically a website that allows you to send bulk SMS messages from a web browser to mobile phones. 

10 reasons why bulk SMS is so effective

Using the SMS platform for your enhanced digital retail experience is really impactful. This has been proven by SMS research that shows it’s not only a popular messaging tool, it actually drives sales. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Open rate: SMS has the highest message open rates of all the communication platforms, sitting at 98%! That means that, if you’re sharing product information with your customers via SMS, they’re likely to read it. 

  2. It’s popular: SMS hasn’t waned in popularity despite the prevalence of other communication platforms. In fact, 96% of smartphone users use SMS. 

  3. Room for growth: Bulk SMS for retail is not a saturated market as 80% of consumers say their favourite brands haven’t yet connected with them over SMS. 

  4. Low spam: The average number of texts received monthly is around 180, with emails sitting at 1,200 – the majority of which are spam. 

  5. Redemption: Research shows that SMS coupons are redeemed 10 times more than others so it’s a great way to drive sales.

  6. Engagement: Bulk SMS is shown to have up to 8x higher engagement rates than email which means more customer attention.

  7. Attention: Do you know how often you look at your phone? Well, the average is 150 times a day! That means that if you send an SMS, it’s going to get noticed almost immediately. 

  8. It’s wanted: Around 70% of customers state they would actually prefer to connect with retailers over mobile phones, showing that SMS is giving people what they want.

  9. Click-through: Only 4.2% of emails result in clicks – according to Mailchimp – whereas SMS has a 19% click-through rate. 

  10. Loyalty: SMS loyalty programmes actually work, with around 90% of mobile users having participated in one via SMS. 

How can you use SMS as a retail solution?

It’s evident that SMS remains one of the most powerful tools of mobile communication in the modern age, but how you use it for retail makes all the difference. Here are a few examples of how this chat retail solution will put you ahead of the competition. 

  • Marketing: With peak retail events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season approaching, you need to make sure your customers know what you’re offering. You can use bulk SMS to market your latest products with links for more product information.

  • Notifications and alerts: Using bulk SMS for retail, you can alert your customers to time-sensitive information such as last-minute deals and discounts. They can make payments via this Chat Commerce platform and then receive notifications about the shipping status and more.

  • Verifications: When your customers are making a payment via your chat retail platform, you can use SMS to verify and authenticate customers through one-time pins. This ensures an elevated level of security and prevents any data breaches.

  • 2-way messages: It’s not just about your customers receiving information, they might have some questions for you! Chat retail allows them to SMS through queries, with automated FAQs saving you a lot of time. Queries can also be directed to live agents where needed.

What are the benefits of SMS for retail?

Beyond the statistics, facts and figures, SMS provides retailers with a simple, convenient and effective platform that connects them with customers anywhere in the world. Businesses can use SMS API and SMS Gateway to scale up businesses and improve global market reach. 

And, even though it’s bulk messaging, you can personalise the communication based on previous interactions with consumers, targeting them with products and services that they want. Finally, customers can make contact-free payments through in-chat purchasing, with all the customer support they need.

Why Clickatell’s chat commerce will give you the edge

Clickatell’s specialised SMS Gateway allows you to connect with customers using dynamic routing and extensive mobile networks. In fact, you can send and receive bulk SMS messages from more than 1 000 mobile networks to more than 220 countries and territories with its easy-to-use cloud-based interface. Outmuscle the competition with Clickatell’s chat retail solution today!

Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.