How SMS Can Help Deliver a Rich Omnichannel Customer Experience

By Tink Taylor | 20 Sep 2018

The digital diversification of a customer’s purchase journey has made it more important than ever for retailers to implement a successful cross-channel marketing strategy. Tink Taylor looks at the role SMS marketing can play in this.

The rapid development of technology has resulted in new markets, targeted products, improved selling methods and greater convenience for both businesses and consumers. To meet increasing customer demands and stay competitive, it is important for companies to shift their focus towards cross-channel marketing strategies. In today’s digitally connected world, where all customer touchpoints are interconnected, it’s key for brands to deliver a seamless experience across a number of platforms.

According to a Statista report, more than 19 million Australians are forecasted to own a smartphone by 2022. In the past decade, smartphones and portable devices have emerged as the primary mode of communication, as people do nearly everything on their mobile phone. Hence, the onus is on marketers to connect with the right customer at right time to notify and make them aware of current and upcoming campaigns.

Nail Your Omnichannel Marketing

Gone are the days when a customer’s purchasing decision was influenced from a single stream of information from one source. The evolved customer journey has led to the emergence of omnichannel marketing platforms that provide customers with an integrated brand experience across all touchpoints during both online and in-store purchases. As the focus shifts from mass, ‘push-based’ marketing towards personalised one-on-one communications, reaching out to customers at the right time, and through the right channel, remains key to staying relevant and ahead of the competition.

Customers are now in control when it comes to communicating and interacting with brands, and they seek value from both tangible products and the experience they have with organisations. In addition, this ownership means that consumers are empowered to dodge any marketing they are not interested in, whether it’s unsubscribing from emails or browsing websites with an ad-blocker installed.

The prime solution for targeting marketing-savvy consumers is to have an engaging omnichannel marketing strategy. Smarter customer behaviour is why it’s critical that businesses maintain consistent messaging across all touchpoints; today, customers should be able to switch platforms, but still, continue the same shopping experience.

SMS Messaging: A High-Impact Marketing Channel

A channel that can bolster any omnichannel marketing strategy is SMS; it has an effective 90 per cent read rate within 10 seconds of delivery. If you’re investing in using this channel, make sure your texts are highly personal and create the most impact on customers.

Adopting SMS as part of an omnichannel expansion gives empowered consumers meaningful brand experiences. By using powerful technology to leverage data, marketers can keep up with on-the-go consumers and deliver personalised messages that compel customers to act fast. These days, having a ‘mobile-friendly’ approach is the bare minimum. To extend existing marketing strategies and tap into evolving customer habits, a ‘mobile-first’ approach will allow brands to maximise responsiveness across all devices and offer a positive first-touch experience for all mobile users.

SMS can be used in a variety of ways to address different consumer needs and profiles, making it a versatile platform. Whether it’s through order updates on their latest trolley purchase, event-triggered SMS with a happy birthday message, or an SMS flash sale alert on the new clothing drop of the season, an email marketing strategy is bolstered with punchy alerts and personalised messages via SMS.

Enhance Communications with Social Media

Additionally, Facebook Messenger is an alternative to the stock SMS platform which brands can use to maximise their engagement with customers. Through implementing an Application Programming Interface (API), businesses can drive two-way conversational communications and provide real-time customer messages. Retailers can be confident they are harnessing marketing automation to its full potential, ensuring they are personalising the brand experience and reaching out to customers on every touchpoint.

It’s clear that in Australia’s always-on and multi-touch landscape, consumers are increasingly demanding immediacy and relevancy in brands and retailers. With an omnichannel approach, brands that employ the high-engagement platform of SMS messaging in their marketing strategy can communicate consistently with their audiences. To build a better brand experience for consumers, it’s key that retailers unify messages across all channels and focus on every customer touchpoint to offer an integrated experience, resulting in significant lifetime value for the business.

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