Three ways Aussie retailers can get smarter with communications

BY ARA
11 April 2018

The increasingly competitive retail landscape in Australia means that businesses must adapt if they are to stay afloat. Companies must move away from legacy systems and old technology and adopt more competitive and nimble technologies, such as the cloud. This is particularly true when it comes to customer communications.

Here are three ways retailers can get smarter with their customer communications in order to compete in an increasingly competitive retail landscape. 

  1. Use cloud communications to engage more effectively

The on-demand economy has made customers accustomed to instant, around-the-clock, personalised services. Innovators like Uber, Airtasker, and Airbnb have changed the way businesses engage with customers, using contextual data to communicate with greater ease and efficiency than ever before. As a result, consumer expectations have also shifted. Now, whether they’re buying movies, food, clothes, shoes, transport, or almost any other interaction a shopper has with a modern business, they are demanding personalised service.

What was once an in-person, sensory experience is now largely taking place online. Today’s shoppers want to interact with businesses and make purchases via the channels that fit how they live, work and communicate with each other - whether that means messaging, voice, or even video. Retailers must adopt these tactics as a part of their customer engagement strategy in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market.

  1. Look beyond the traditional means of engagement

dreamstime_m_57345904.jpgAs the retail customer experience evolves, it’s becoming easier for shoppers to find custom deals on the devices and communication channels that are most convenient for them. Because of this shift, companies are beginning to, and must, look beyond traditional means of engaging customers through channels like email.

One example of this that Twilio have witnessed is when a company implemented a customer service button which triggered a call back from the company’s contact centre. After entering in payment information on the website, users received one text per week offering a different product. They can simply text back ‘yes’ if they want to purchase. Or consider ReplyYes, a conversational commerce startup where registered users are sent offerings on products.

Even large established retailers are deploying new rules of engagement to enhance their customer experience. Macy’s in the US leverages Twilio MMS and SMS for two-way conversations between sales representatives and customers for a personalised shopping experience.

  1. Embed communications into the heart of your customer experience

In an increasingly competitive retail space, companies who have embedded communications into the heart of their customer experience are proving to be more successful. One example of this that I have witnessed is when a company implemented a customer service button which triggered a call back from the company’s contact centre. This subtle move made a huge impact and led to the business achieving record profits that year.

As customer demand continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, companies must accept the importance of building innovative new solutions to the challenges they face in communicating with the customer.

Embedding communications directly into the shopping experience has the ability to bridge the offline/online gap in a way legacy technology simply can’t keep up with. The companies that find success in digital commerce are those who build technology from the ground up, iterate according to customer demand, and deliver a personalised, contextual experience to shoppers on their preferred channels. To achieve this, companies must empower their developers to easily build and iterate upon existing processes and applications within the business.

About Twilio

More than two million developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratised communications channels like voice, text, chat and video by virtualising the world’s telecommunications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. Visit www.twilio.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ARA

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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