A few days ago, the retail world was abuzz with news that Lowe’s has entered into an agreement with Apple. Under their new agreement, Lowe’s will leverage Apple’s Business Chat platform and begin to offer its customers a new way to engage with the brand: two-way SMS.
Marketing communication, traditionally, has been a lot like practicing tennis alone. You hit ball after ball across the net, send out message after message—and then pick up and do it all over again. Deploying two-way SMS is a game-changer. Now, your customer can come play tennis with you. They can respond to your messages in the same, preferred medium and continue the conversation with a representative in real time.
For the uninitiated, the reaction is likely “Wait, what? Don’t all retailers already do that?” As I briefly discussed in my last post, the answer is no. While you may have received an SMS marketing message from a retailer in the past, have you ever engaged in an actual conversation with a customer service rep via text? The answer is likely “no.” If you have, the rep was probably texting via their personal phone.
So what’s the big deal? As a consumer, a lot. Now you can communicate directly with someone at the retailer, get accurate product and inventory information, and ask questions, all through text! Further, there is now a record of your conversation, making it more likely that you will get better customer service and more relevant offers.
If you are a retailer and are considering new models of engagement, you should take a serious look at two-way SMS. Studies have shown that 97% of Americans text weekly. For many people, it is the preferred method of communication. Texting is still growing, too: worldwide daily texting increased from an estimated 18.7 billion to 22 billion messages between 2014 and 2017. While two-way SMS can be a lucrative marketing channel, it is an even more lucrative engagement channel. It allows your customers to reach you at the critical moment when they want to engage with you.
As a retail executive told me the other day, “Lowe’s is playing chess, but the rest of us are just playing checkers.” Maybe it is time to up your game and get real customer engagement with two-way SMS communication.
If you would like to learn more about how Katabat can elevate your customer engagement strategy and keep the conversation going with two-way SMS, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.