When most consumers think of retail, they assume clothing or boutique outfits, but retail is an all-inclusive term for any sold good. A grocery store is as much a retail chain as a department store.
The key to differentiating a retail model often comes down to highlighting your company’s uniqueness in the marketplace.
Every retail business has a specialty, something that it offers that is different than other companies. For example, a boutique may specialize in custom clothing while another clothing retailer is more focused on inexpensive materials. You may have a grocer focused on organic goods, and one focused on general merchandise. The way a customer comes to know your business is through branding and marketing.
To effectively market your brand, it is vital to control your messaging and build a target audience. All forms of marketing and advertising focus on message delivery, and while all have their place in your retail enterprise’s portfolio, one marketing and communications style is above the rest: text messaging.
Text messaging is a direct link to loyal and new customers.
It is a way to provide targeted promotions with a reliable open rate, and texting also offers an opportunity for direct communication with your clients, further establishing a trust in your brand. However, to use texting correctly, you must understand the approach.
The Advantages of Retail Text Messaging
The retail business is about consumer strategy. A business must not only connect and attract consumers, but it must attract the right consumers through targeted messaging. Through targeted campaigns, a company can create lasting and loyal relationships, and text messaging plays a vital role in that cultivation.
of consumers use a mobile device to search for products
Did you know that nearly 77% of consumers use a mobile device to search for products, or that 98% of people will review a text rather than an email? Email marketing, while not dead, is not as effective at reaching dedicated or new consumers. Print marketing and digital advertising are essentially in the same category as email. Consumers grow tired of the constant distraction of advertisements and seek instead to seek control over promotions that access their devices.
Mobile phones have come a long way since the first devices, and now they represent smart devices, virtually small computers. The majority of people have and use their mobile devices regularly, never leaving home without it.
For better or worse, phones are like an appendage, attached to people’s palms and providing a valuable opportunity for retail shops.
Texting services have come a long way in the last several years. The integration and capabilities for bulk and scheduled texting provide many opportunities for retail businesses. SMS services improve the customer experience, complement marketing campaigns, encourage consumer loyalty and motivate consumers to act. To get the most out of a texting service, like CanaryTEXT, you will want to understand text marketing strategies.
Two Texting Strategies To Improve Business
Primarily, a retail business will use text messaging in two distinct ways:
- business texting, and
- mass texting.
Business texting is more about individual requests and responses; it is a dialogue between a team member and a customer, not a chatbot. The purpose of business texting is to provide consumers with a personal experience to show that each customer is valuable and that you value their experience.
While business texting is a valuable tool, it is not always practical. Sure, most small retail shops would love to know and contact each of their customers one-on-one, but a single person is limited in the number of people they can contact in a day. Using mass texting, you can notify your entire contact list of a promotion, regardless of how extensive the list is.
Each form of messaging is useful, but each has its limitations, which is why many businesses opt for a combination. Mass texting does not negate the possibility of individualized communication as a response tool, but it does make it impossible as a means of initiation. Business texting is excellent for one-on-one communication but is limited for rapid notification or outreach.
If a combination of both strategies is not for you, or the service you choose cannot manage both, then you need to decide which method is more practical and lucrative for your shop. Determine your needs and the volume of consumers you expect to connect with simultaneously. If you are more in need of offering customer support than bulk messaging, business texting is for you, but if you are more interested in making blanket promotional offers a routine part of your operations, then mass texting is more suitable. To make such a decision, you must take note of how you intend to use text messaging.
Six Ways To Use Texting
Text messaging is no longer relegated to text-only messages. Most SMS services can transmit vibrant images and even videos. If pictures and videos are not enough, then a business can send active links to transform text readers into website visitors.
Using text messaging is about understanding the strategy, as with any marketing and advertising medium. While you, as a business owner, may have a limited understanding of the capabilities of text, a service, like CanaryTEXT, can help you make the most out of this lucrative platform.
How do you want to reach consumers?
What do you want to use texting to accomplish? By understanding your objective, you can begin to develop a plan with your service partner. While the aim of any marketing campaign is about increasing business, you need to determine how you want your business to grow specifically. For example, do you want to drive physical traffic to your stores for a promotion, or do you want to improve visibility within the community for outreach projects?
While you may not yet have a specific goal for texting in mind, you can still find creative uses for a texting service. There are at least six ways retail shops capitalize on their texting efforts.
1. Customer service
While people often assume that a retail business is only interested in profits, they would find it surprising that more than 50% of retailers consider the customer experience to be their top priority. A shop owner, then, is more interested in the satisfaction of the consumer than their profits. While profits tend to go hand-in-hand with customer satisfaction, it is necessary to note the value of the consumer relationship.
Texting can help establish consumer trust through customer service programs, like text-for-help. The way the program works is through customer initiation. The client reaches out to your shop with a question in the form of a text, and they receive a response from you or a team member. The direct communication helps establish both trust and loyalty.
2. Customer loyalty program
Customer loyalty programs are popular among retailers, and for a good reason, they work. According to research, repeat shoppers spend, on average, 47% more than first-time buyers. You can bolster repeat shoppers by advertising your loyalty program through text. If a customer opts-in for the service, then offer exclusive promotions and benefits.
It is also beneficial to work with a text messaging service that can allow for the personalization of text. While sending bulk text without names can help a business, studies show 75% of consumers are more prone to buy from retailers who know and use their name. You can also demonstrate knowledge of a person by recognizing past purchases
3. Product updates
With many consumers turning to curbside pickups and deliveries, it helps if a business has a way of notifying customers of product updates and changes. For example, when a customer orders an item, your business can text a notification when the item is ready and available for pickup. Text messages can also be used to inform a client about changes to a product or to offer help with their recent purchase.
Contacting a client in this manner is two-fold. First, it allows a business to optimize its customer service, and second, a company can use texting to engage with the customer further
Businesses live and die by promotions. You use events and partnerships to increase store traffic and encourage sales. However, your efforts are useless without an audience. One of the primary benefits of text messaging is its integration with your contact list or consumer base.
Texting is more effective than most advertising mediums with an over 90% open rate. While messages are short and to the point, that is precisely what the modern consumer is after. A short text is often enough to encourage presence, and it is also more cost-effective than other means
Text messaging is a great way to provide consumers with coupons. When you mail or email a coupon, there is no guarantee that a customer will see it, which means that the advertising is ineffective. However, when you send a client a discount code or coupon in a text, they are not only more likely to see it, they are also more likely to use it.
The great thing about texting coupons is that they can be specific to the customer, related to their purchase history. Texting services can help you categorize your clients, so you never waste money on bulk mailings
6. Advertising partner
Texting is a wonderful complement to other advertising and marketing campaigns. For example, many retail shops have turned to social media marketing, which is a growing and impressive advertising medium, but to capitalize on the exposure, have a call-to-action within your post, or have a messaging option in your profile.
Consumers want to reach out, but you need to show them how. While it would be nice to text every person within your target audience, it is not possible and likely illegal. You need to entice your audience to opt-in, which can be done in many different ways.
Two Ways of Finding Opt-In Subscribers
Text message marketing is a regulated practice, and as such, your business must adhere to the rules governing SMS or risk the legal consequences. While texting is a formidable platform, it is most lucrative because consumers must opt-in, which means that they desire the information you provide.
Every professional texting relationship begins with the standard opt-in text message. You have likely seen these relatively simple messages. The messages ask if you are interested in hearing from the business, and then it will specify that to receive texts from the company, you must respond “YES.”
While the process of getting an opt-in is straightforward, the way to acquiring your list is challenging. You must advertise and cultivate your customers. In general, you establish and grow your subscribers’ list through two means: real-world displays and enticements.
1. Real-world displays
In order for customers to know that you have a text program, they need to be made aware of it. When starting a text message program, make sure to put up posters in your storefront windows, advertise on digital platforms and send out notification in both mail and email. You want to blanket your area so that all consumers know that you know have a loyalty program through text message. Even if your program is not for promotional efforts, and is instead focused on providing customer service, real-world promotion is required to gain traction.
Beyond putting up and mailing out notifications, give your consumers a reason to enroll. For example, put up signs that state, “text SHOP for 10% off your purchase today!” You can also use giveaways or sweepstakes to encourage subscriptions. Essentially, you want to build your customer base as quickly as possible so you can take advantage of the enormous benefits of texting.
Text messaging is a unique marketing tool because it encourages communication between a business and its customers. Few forms of advertising allow for such a personal exchange of ideas and loyalties.
Every retail business, whether selling clothing, groceries or other merchandise, can benefit from incorporating a text message service under their marketing umbrella.
If you or your company is interested in text messaging solutions, then contact us to discuss the specific needs of your business and your customer base.