Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us and the busy shopping season will be in full swing.
If the last few years are any indication, consumers will be shopping for more gifts, ordering more groceries and booking more travel plans online. They are also communicating more and more through SMS/texts — in fact, studies show that in North America, the average adult now texts almost 23 hours a week.
That’s an opportunity for retailers to improve communication, drive revenue and reduce workload by offloading it to technology. Here are four crucial steps to take now.
Update Your Status
The best way to handle the barrage of questions about holiday orders is to automate your system — and to use the platform most customers prefer for notifications: SMS/texts. This is a great way to notify customers about the status of their order — when it is received, when the item is shipped and when it arrives.
Sometimes, though, your customers actually want to talk to you, to ask for help finding a gift for their father, for instance, or returning an item that doesn’t fit.
This is where conversational artificial intelligence (AI) comes in handy. Chatbots can automate standard processes, so staff can focus on driving revenue.
Most customers are happy to receive a text from a business, especially if it’s a special offer or an update about their purchase. But they want to be asked for permission first. Make it easy for them to choose whether to opt in or out, and don’t abuse their trust.
Today’s customers are used to making purchases with just a simple click or two, so make it easy for them to complete an order by text.
Technologies like Apple Pay for iOS and Google Pay for Android will automatically supply credit card info, so consumers can pay right in an SMS thread.