11 June 2020
COVID-19 has brought some drastic changes to all retailers. One of the most significant is the push for online shopping. Only 5.7% of all retail trade was online in April 2019; in April 2020 the figure jumped to 10%. Experts predict that an e-commerce boom is going to come as consumer confidence begins to recover, just like what happened after the Global Financial Crisis, and those who truly embrace an omni-channel experience will benefit during the early recovery period (source).
There is no better time than now for retailers to review how they engage with their customers and how to provide a better customer experience in order to stay competitive in the retail market. We think our new product Studio Chat can help retailers address a few pressing needs from consumers.
1. Two thirds of consumers would like to message brands
A 2019 survey revealed that 66% of Australian consumers would like the ability to securely text with any business, and 55% said that they are more likely to buy from a company if they could text message them (source).
The recent COVID-19 crisis has seen an increase in demand for customer support through mobile messaging apps, with research showing that support tickets coming in via WhatsApp increased over 100%; chat and text messaging also saw 34% and 30% spikes respectively since late February (source).
If your brand doesn’t allow consumers to message you already, Studio Chat provides an easy avenue for you to tap into this channel, with the added benefit of providing that via multiple mobile messaging apps like SMS, WhatsApp and RCS.
2. Seamless omnichannel experience
The Customer Experience Excellence Report authored by KPMG highlighted that seamless digital experience is one of the major customer experience themes in the Australian market. With an influx of digital only brands coming into the market, many Australian organisations are concerned about their digital presence and how they can compete against these brands in providing the same level of customer experience.
With 87% of Australian consumers’ interactions with brands happening across at least two channels, and nearly half happening across five or more, how to enable a seamless transition between channels is something retailers have to address.
One of the main benefits of Studio Chat is its ability to pull multiple text-based channels into one single platform. Whether it is via SMS, WhatsApp or RCS, the entire conversation between you and your customers stays in the same workspace. Even if your customers contact you via a different channel every time, you will still be able to view the conversation history and respond to them within a single workspace, making it a true seamless transition across channels for both your customers and your staff.
3. The untapped potential of conversational commerce
Research indicates that retail sales from chatbot-based customer interactions are expected to roughly double every year from USD$7.3 billion to USD$112 billion by 2023. Interactions between chatbots and customers are also expected to skyrocket from 2.6 billion in 2019 to 22 billion in 2023 (source). (Given this research was completed before COVID-19, it’d be interesting to see if these predictions are going to grow significantly due to the drastic uptake of chat as a channel during the pandemic.)
Purchase decisions made as a result of a two way conversation – either with a chatbot or a person – are collectively referred to as ‘conversational commerce’.
Some retail brands had experimented with conversational commerce with great success. Streetwear brand Culture Kings did two chat campaigns last year on Black Friday and Click Frenzy and saw a 5000% ROI; Lego’s chatbot Ralph the giftbot was able to convert 3 times higher with 33% lower in cost per conversion compared to other campaigns (source).
For retailers who’d like to experiment with conversational commerce, Studio Chat is the perfect tool for a few reasons. Firstly ChatBot integration is available, which means you can offer this service at scale without worrying about increasing your team’s workload – the chatbot can manage many basic conversations.
Additionally, the fact that Studio Chat covers SMS, WhatsApp and RCS means that you are not limited by a single avenue, enabling you to have a much wider coverage of audiences who are on different platforms.
Studio Chat also enables you to send rich content like images, videos or SMS Landing Pages to provide an enriched conversation experience. SMS Landing Pages in particular has been a huge success among our retail customers in boosting conversion rates; combining this with the potential of conversational commerce could be a powerful tool for retailers.
If you’d like to find out more about Studio Chat and how it can help your business, please get in touch at 1300 764 946 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.