Mobile Messaging: Key Component Of Digitally Transforming Retail Customer Engagement

Rohit Tripathi

Consumers have access to so many purchase opportunities. Data points to an overwhelming increase in the influence of the mobile device on the discovery and sales components of the shopper journey and an increase in the number of sales completed on mobile devices. Retailers that haven’t embraced mobile engagement of consumers are putting their business at risk, as Adobe Digital Insights reported that more than 50% of retail online traffic came from mobile in November to December 2016, and 31% of sales were completed on mobile devices.

Just-in-time inventory availability is increasingly an avenue to improve profitability, and similarly, perfectly timed and placed marketing is the best path to effective conversions and revenue growth. Furthermore, mobility and real-time interactivity that includes mobile messaging is a foundational component of the digital transformation of retail.

As a component of a well-orchestrated symphony of marketing and experiential retail, personalized and contextualized mobile messaging is the climactic moment that drives conversions upward. Contextualized and personalized messaging is most intimate and relevant when delivered via SMS, which therefore receives the highest open rates compared to other mobile marketing methods.

The attraction to the consumer is clear for marketing, shipping status, account alerts, etc. Convenience and usability drive response rates, and mobile messaging also increases consumer loyalty while reducing the cost of conversion. Key business benefits for retailers include:

  • SMS works on every device/network, it’s a familiar, on-device function that everyone knows how to use, requires no apps to download, and is relatively inexpensive and quick for retailers to implement
  • SMS also provides a reliable and secure platform for communications by validating transactions and authenticating users on the phone
  • SMS saves money by shifting routine customer-care activities to a less expensive, more preferred channel

For retailers, it’s easy to start mobile engagement through a basic/routine service (like shipping and account alerts); then move up the continuum by engaging with marketing offers and loyalty and points updates/redemption exchanges; followed by two-way communications with customer service, personal shopping assistance, and real-time surveys and polls.

Retailers often utilize intelligent notification platforms to improve the quality of service and experience of messaging by using autonomous, rules-based delivery to escalate messages across channels and ensure recipients receive the right message on the preferred device. This helps close the “last mile” and ensures the following:

  • Messages reach touchpoints in a coordinated way and effectively meet objectives
  • Interactions are safe, secure, and reliable, which is critical for success
  • Messages build loyalty by engaging consumers seamlessly with mutually beneficial contextualized and personalized content

Messaging cannot be appropriately contextualized or personalized if the data about customer journeys and message response patterns doesn’t paint an accurate picture of how to influence behavior. This is where retailers, and the marketing agencies they work with, can benefit from applying near-real-time anonymized mobile data aggregated from millions of consumer devices worldwide. Customer insight services add data that improves decisions and enhances mobile engagement experiences.

Recommended actions for retailers:

  • To build consumer adoption, retailers can focus on engaging customers along the customer journey in a continuum of messaging strategies that align with how they shop, then personalize “last mile” messages to drive sales conversions and overall customer satisfaction in a self-reinforcing cycle of increased loyalty
  • To improve the relevancy and timeliness of messaging, retailers can leverage internal and external data sources and intelligent notification platforms that manage the delivery of content to the right people at the right time

For more information, read the IDC White paper, “Mobile Messaging in Retail: Applying a Platform Approach to Achieve Scale and Amplify Impact,” sponsored by SAP Digital Interconnect.

Join the on-demand webinar “Delivering Intelligent, Interconnected Customer Engagements for Retailers” featuring IDC and SAP Digital Interconnect.


About Rohit Tripathi

Rohit Tripathi General Manager, Head of Products, SAP Digital Interconnect, and brings with him over 20 years of experience in software and business operations. In his current role, Rohit focuses on bringing to market value-added products and solutions that help SAP Digital Interconnect customers get more engaged, secure, and gather actionable insights in the Digital World. Previously, Rohit held various leadership positions at SAP in the areas of technology and products. Prior to joining SAP, Rohit was with The Boston Consulting Group where he advised senior executives of Fortune 500 companies on business strategy and operations. Rohit also serves on the North American Board of Directors for Mobile Marketers Association.