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Michael Braybrook Head of Business Development mGage

How are Retail & FMCG brands using SMS to make their marketing strategy more customer-centric?

Modern audiences are more fragmented than they have ever been. Nobody has a single point or method of contact anymore, from written word, to images, video, audio and so on. It is not that there are multiple types of content and how we access this content has changed too. There are plenty more channels available than just TV, print and radio- the internet and especially the socially connected mobile internet has opened up a world of new opportunities for business.

The only way for Retail and FMCG brands to reach this increasingly spread audience is to become omni-channel. On a global scale, retailers are breaking down customer data and, strangely enough, are coming to the same conclusions. There was a poll recently of 7,000 people across seven different countries which stated that 64% of customers expect to receive real time customer support, regardless of the channel. Furthermore, 75% of customers will return to a company they consider to have had helpful and friendly service.

This begs the question, can a retailer afford to ignore the channels available? 

Nope. By definition, omni-channel is inclusive, it involves conversation between corporation and its customer, at all times, through all channels, however and whenever they feel comfortable.  What is the most comfortable means of contact between people these days? Which channel is the easiest, fastest opened, least ignored and with people at all times, smartphone or not? 

SMS. Today there are more connected mobile phones than there are people.

People like conversation and are very comfortable with text messaging because they are personal, friendly, non-intrusive and short. The days of corporate emailing are behind us, people want the personal touch. This all means that brands have to adopt a customer-centric approach!

Two major retail developments, particularly when it comes to mobile engagement, have been Click and Collect and Basket Abandonment Retargeting. Click and Collect has already become a popular choice for collecting packages from the likes of Argos, to ordering and paying for lunch through Hummus Bros; there is no queuing, simply arrive, collect and enjoy your lunch.

Customers who have abandoned their baskets when online shopping actually spend more than half the amount again when successfully retargeted. This is a huge opportunity for your retail brand.