Mobile Retail Consumers – Text Me, Maybe?

As much as we all love clipping coupons from circulars (yes, they still do exist), searching through our emails for retail promotions, and, perusing websites, such as Gilt Groupe, for bargains, a new marketing trend is upon us that will forever change the way we shop and interact with our favorite brands. Thanks in large part to the boom in smart phone use, Retail SMS Marketing has emerged as the new kid on the block enabling retailers to reach their customer base in a direct, cost-effective, and personalized manner. In the same vein as subscribing to a company’s email list for promotions, Retail SMS Marketing is an opt-in service whereby customers receive text messages from retailers regarding new products and discounts. Rather than relying upon coupon marketers, such as Groupon, retailers now have the option of cutting out the middle-man and providing customers with mobile coupons directly via their smart phones.

The immediacy of text messaging coupled with the consumer’s ability to purchase products seamlessly either in store or on the retailer’s mobile website has markedly improved sales for some retailers. Text messaging allows retailers to inform their customers of sales and promotions in real time. And, as any marketing guru will tell you, instant action begets instant results. As more and more brick and mortar retail stores morph into show rooms and restaurants fall prey to “empty restaurant” syndrome, SMS Retail Marketing may be the perfect shot in the arm to bring consumers and foodies back to these establishments in droves.

Despite the virtues of SMS Retail Marketing, traditional promotion media such as television, print, and radio continue to reign supreme among traditional retailers who are loath to embrace this new marketing strategy. Although such reluctance may stem from fear of being too aggressive or annoying, consumers actually appreciate messages from retailers, especially in regards to discounted prices. Despite the apprehensiveness of some retailers, Retail SMS Marketing is gaining momentum in the retail industry among the fearless tech-savvy marketing managers who have developed nuanced strategies to realize its value. Some retail marketers have even utilized analytics to understand consumers’ shopping patterns to know when to send consumers personalized offers, and, more impressively, which items to discount to truly pique their interest. Thus far, targeted text messages have proven to be a highly viable means of increasing sales.

Let’s face the facts. Text messaging is the primary means of communication among younger demographics, and personally engaging with the customer is the key to improving the shopper’s experience, creating brand awareness and brand loyalty. Therefore, implementing text messaging into an overall promotional campaign would seem to be a natural choice. We truly are in a revolutionary period in the way brands interact with their customer base as they have become hip with the times and exploited the benefits of the smart phone. Michael Kors, text me, maybe?

Related topics: Retail, Retail Sales, Technology