New research by PayPal showed that 1 in 3 Australian small to medium enterprises said that they are more stressed this year leading up to Christmas than they were last year; 10% named the economy as their number one concern.Though Roy Morgan’s annual Christmas retail sales forecast predicted a slight decrease in the growth of retail spending compared to 2018, we are still expecting over $52 billion of spending across the retail sector during the Christmas trading period (source). So with a bit of planning and smart tactics, Christmas can still be a period where businesses see growth, in fact 30% of SME owners are anticipating notable business growth and think that all the stress of the Christmas period will be worthwhile. Here are 5 ways SMS can help businesses to be more efficient and make the most of this festive season.
1. Inform customers about any changes for the festive season – and be personal
Many businesses are used to using email to inform their customers for their opening hours during the holiday seasons, but a recent report revealed that consumers are 35 times more likely to open mobile messages than emails. So why not use SMS to communicate with your customers? Instead of general business information, try sending them more personalised messages like letting them know the opening hours of the particular branch that they visited the most, or dates when a particular practitioner is going to be on holiday. After all, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalised experiences (source) .
2. Remind customers the delivery cut off time
If you run an e-commerce business, it is vital that you inform your customer of the cut off time for delivery before Christmas so they can get their gifts delivered on time.Many will have stated this on their website; some businesses will add the message to the email newsletter or promotions they send to customers; but using SMS to remind customers 24 to 48 hours before the cut off time can be a powerful nudge to get them to make the purchase right then and there.
3. Filling open shifts
For those who are going to open throughout Christmas and New Year, staffing can be a bit of a headache. How about asking your staff members or casual staff what’s their holiday plan and if any of them would consider taking up a shift if needed? You can then put them into a contact group, upload that to our online platform, so that you’ll be able to send them a bulk SMS when a shift becomes available pretty much instantly. With the use of a virtual mobile number, you can even have staff replying via SMS to help speed up the process.
4. Gauging customer satisfaction
Whether you are running a retail business, a catering service, a courier company, a restaurant or a beauty salon, gauging customer satisfaction is crucial in order for your business to stay competitive (source). SMS Surveys are ideal for this purpose, as they enable customers to respond at a time and place that’s convenient to them. They can also stop half way through the survey and pick up right from where they stopped hours later. No wonder it has a proven record of increasing response rate and feedback from 3% to 47%.
5. Christmas greetings
SMS is a great channel to deliver Christmas greetings to your customers, suppliers and employees and thank them for their support (especially when you’ve been too busy and only remember this on Christmas Eve). With our SMS Landing Pages, you can spice up your Christmas greetings with images, visually appealing designs, personalised content and call-to-action buttons and deliver them via SMS. Building an SMS Landing Page is pretty easy with our Messaging Studio, so even if you really are rushing it on Christmas Eve, you will still be able to finish creating and sending the campaign in no time. If you need help with design, here are some free tools you can use.
Get in touch now or simply start a no obligation free trial and incorporate SMS into your festive season trading now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!