The pandemic has completely changed how retail businesses operate. No more flocking to stores as non-essential businesses were closed and essential businesses were following occupancy rules and other precautions. But while a lot of businesses are suffering and taking a loss, online businesses are thriving as customers take their business to the web. In fact, people are buying more online than ever before, with customers doing about 10% of their shopping online--a huge increase from before. This trend is predicted to continue as online shopping has become a daily habit in their lives and part of the routine. Regular merchandise continues to be purchased online, but now also household and grocery items--items that we would normally never buy online, have become a very common purchase. Customers are enjoying the safety of contactless delivery as well as the convenience of getting items shipped right to their door.
Although less contact is the current trend, it is still important for businesses to maximize virtual connections with their customers. Smartphones continue to be the preferred device to connect with others, thus making the use of text messages to manage customer communication a feasible choice--especially during the pandemic. According to many surveys, 64% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer communication via text. Text messaging is a trusted communication channel, and it can influence how customers perceive the brand. In fact, 90% of customers would rather receive a text message than a phone call, making it the preferred choice for many businesses who wish to engage with their customers. Studies show that engaged customers make loyal customers. Strong business to customer relationships are made through providing answers to questions, sending product pictures, and providing general updates about store promotions. With the global pandemic increasing the need for remote services, it is good to note that text messaging is also a contactless and convenient way to collect payments. For businesses who are trying to maintain a storefront and an online presence, text messaging is useful to keep customers up-to-date on store hours, current pandemic procedures, and in-store pick up information. Don’t let the pandemic destroy your brand, use text messaging to retain customers and keep the sales coming! Now is a wonderful time for your business to reap the benefits of text messaging customers and to enjoy its lasting impact as we get through this pandemic. Remind customers that we are in this together, and that we want to continue to provide the best service possible during this time. As the world continues to adapt to the ever-changing pandemic rules, businesses that take the initiative to reach out to customers and send them relevant offers in this distanced world will have the competitive advantage.