Black Friday can leave some retailers feeling a little lost at sea. With increased inbound volumes, fierce competition and offers to start well in advance of the day itself, it can be a struggle to hold on to the helm.

It’s impossible to deny that Black Friday has evolved beyond a one-day event, but the transformation goes beyond price and product. Customers are looking beyond the sale stickers to find the best experience from their chosen retailers. Service and speed are the order of the day for modern Black Friday shoppers.

With such a drastic evolution in consumer behaviour over the last year, the way businesses approach the biggest sales season of the year is also changing.

Using digital messaging retailers can deliver a brand-differentiating experience for customers, one that encourages conversions and loyalty. To help you navigate the potential storms of the season, we’ve pulled together 6 of the most common challenges retailers face at this time of year.

How multichannel messaging can assist 6 common challenges many retailers face around Black Friday:

1. Order updates and tracking

Multichannel solution

Customers want to know when their order is arriving during this period more than ever. Sharing progress helps to reassure the customer without them having to get in touch and chase things up.

Channel

Enable customers to track their order themselves, share a simple link through SMS or WhatsApp. Encouraging self-service also helps to reduce the strain on call handlers.

2. Unmanageable inbound volumes

Multichannel solution

Redirect volumes through convenient digital channels. Provide customers with real-time support through their preferred channels, helping to reduce the volume of calls.

Channel

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other social media messaging platforms offer a fast resolution for consumers, without the call queues or dreaded Christmas hold music.

3. Low stock levels

Multichannel solution

Give your customers the option to register for updates on out of stock or popular products. Delivering value at this early point in the customer journey also helps to encourage loyalty.

Channel

Trigger an SMS or Push Notification to alert customers to new stock. Include links to the product page to streamline the journey further and enable fast checkout.

4. Reduced footfall

Multichannel solution

Offering click and collect options provides the customer with the perfect blend of online browsing, easy payment and the personal experience of instore.

Channel

Ensure your click and collect service is successful by providing customers with a time slot through digital channels such as RCS that can integrate with native calendars and apps. Set times encourage customers to browse during quieter periods.

5. Lack of awareness around your offers

Multichannel solution

Opt-in promotions-give customers the opportunity to become a member of your marketing list, in order to be the first to hear about your seasonal discounts.

Channel

Include an opt-in on your online checkout page or use an in-store SMS keyword to make it easy for customers to opt-in by text. Offers can be shared through their chosen channels for increased engagement.

6. Sky-high abandoned basket rates

Multichannel solution

Abandoned basket rates can hit highs of 79% during the Christmas period. Re-targeting through digital messaging enables your customers to pick up where they left off in their journey, helping to encourage conversions through convenience. (SaleCycle)

Channel

In-App Messaging, Push Notifications and SMS offer retailers a direct way to encourage customers to revisit their online baskets. Customers are able to quickly navigate back to relevant pages through internal links.

Black Friday success with digital messaging needn’t be complicated. Using multiple channels to support customers and offer advice at key moments within the online journey offers convenience and speed, which in turn encourages conversions and engagement. Being where your customers are, using their preferred channels has a dramatic impact on their experience as well as your ROI.

In our latest guide, we also explore how multichannel messaging can help manage service delivery at the busiest of times. You can download a copy of the guide here to discover more about the evolution of Black Friday.

If you wanted to find out more about digital service delivery, our IMIchat solution collates all communications into a single system for easy management and reporting. Staff are simply able to log-in and start talking with customers across Facebook Messenger, SMS, Email and Live Chat. 

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