Customers spend more in store if they’ve seen a product online. Year on year, this fact proves itself time and time again. Black Friday may seem a while away yet (you’re lucky we haven’t mentioned the C-word 🎄), but as a savvy marketer, now is the time to consider your omnichannel strategy for it.
A brief history of Black Friday
Black Friday is no longer just an American phenomenon. And it doesn’t even just take place on a Friday anymore. What used to be a one-off day of extreme sales following the US holiday of Thanksgiving is now a whole weekend of discounts. It used to be the case that retailers saved their online deals for Cyber Monday. This was of course in order to encourage more shoppers through the door.
Today, however, the lines of online and offline have blurred. Shoppers have a much more fluid experience. They research on their tablets or phones and walk straight into store with those same devices. They may already be in store in fact, when they decide to look up a product – or a competing version. Retailers have a much more holistic view these days than online vs offline as a result. This also helps to explain why many online sales are starting on Black Friday itself, or in Amazon’s case, the whole week before. So whether you are prepping for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or a month long holiday sale bonanza, take advantage of the ever-increasing skyrocketed season of clicks (up 20% from 2016 to 2017) with an all-angles omnichannel approach.
When was the last time you didn’t open a text? Us neither. Nine out of 10 SMS are read in the first three minutes, and the precise micro-nature of 160 characters allows your message to be not only read, but digested by your target audience in seconds. Few things beat this medium. But combined with an omnichannel approach, SMS is unstoppable. For example, many retailers use SMS for discount codes for shoppers. Have you considered using it to drive customers to download your app?
Push and in-app messaging
A customer who has your app is already a brand-invested loyal one. For example, 51% of millennials (and 47% overall) say that a positive app experience makes them more likely to purchase from that brand. Push notifications are great for alerting customers of flash sales. They can also be used to re-engage customers who have abandoned their cart, perhaps on another device such as their desktop. This multi-device holistic view of a customer may seem complicated. But all it requires is a channel provider who centralise customer information for your agents.
Many retailers and apps are using Facebook Messenger as a way to provide customers with receipts from their purchases or transactions. This has a lot more permanence compared to a push notification, and may be easier to find than an email in an overflowing inbox. The added benefit of using a chat-app for this is that the customer can immediately message your business if they need to make an amendment to their order. Or maybe they have a question about it, such as how long the shipping time is. This saves your agents time (saving you money) and provides an exceptional customer experience. All you’ll need is a provider who has a solution to an increase in inbound messaging as a result.
You might have web chat, but do you use it effectively enough? Have you considered proactive web chat? This tool and strategy will be invaluable during your busy period around Black Friday and can also be used as a vehicle to move customers to other channels such as SMS, Facebook Messenger or in-app messaging. Just make sure your omnichannel provider can transfer all that valuable context of the conversation across.
Similar to web chat, Twitter DM is a great channel for customer service resolution. Twitter has always been at the forefront of customer experience. Adding DM to your arsenal enables your agents to securely and privately deal with issues or questions which will inevitably pile up in busy periods. Make sure you have a reliable CPaaS system so that you don’t miss any of these messages. Twitter users tend to be vocal when it comes to bad customer experience, and are already in the Twittersphere to make their complaints public if you don’t get back to them in a timely manner. Remember as well, that your customers are on Twitter whether you are or not. Wouldn’t you rather they talked to you than about you?
Both of these apps offer unparalleled rich messaging experiences and opportunity for companies. You can learn more about RCS by downloading our eBook, or register your interest in joining our WhatsApp Beta program.
See also: Black Friday 2018 – Are you ready?