Retailers ramp up customer communications during pandemic

Over one quarter of retailers have increased their customer communication efforts compared with pre-pandemic levels. 

This is according to telecommunications provider Esendex, which conducted a survey to uncover how retailers are adapting their strategies to suit the current climate. 

As Retail Times reports, the survey honed in on business messaging habits in particular. Compared to pre-Covid, 28% of retailers admit to sending more messages to current and potential customers, while 48.5% are sending the same amount. Just over one in ten (13%) admitted to sending fewer messages than before the pandemic struck. 

Breaking it down by activity type, retailers are sending business messages on: 

  • Marketing/promotional activity (30.23%)
  • Appointment management (23.26%)
  • Delivery information (23.26%)
  • Customer services/process updates (16.28%)
  • Customer satisfaction surveys (6.98%)

Senior brand development manager at Esendex, Amy Robinson, acknowledged that maintaining a high level of customer communication has never been so important, as retailers have had to adapt how and what they message shoppers. 

She continued: “The rise in SMS messaging, in particular, may be in part due to businesses trying to ‘cut through the noise’ and content saturation, preferring a method than has a 95% open rate.”

As the pandemic continues, Robinson believes that promotional and marketing initiative planning for the next year will look very different for retailers across the country, as they focus on attracting and retaining customers. 

On the back of the survey, Esendex shared some tips on how retailers can use business messaging effectively during the pandemic. They include: 

  • Keep it personal – customers value and almost expect personal service these days. It can help to encourage impulse buying and inspire loyalty – just make sure you have a clear call to action to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 
  • Gain valuable feedback – consider carrying out customer satisfaction surveys, as this will help you identify weaknesses so that in a year’s time, you’ll be able to see clear improvements.
  • Be as helpful as possible – in a retail context, this would involve keeping customers informed on things like opening times, delivery information, and even steps you are taking to keep everyone safe in-store.

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