Texting: A Novel Retail Tool

July 27, 2015 | B2C Retail

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According to ConnectMogul, 97% of all text messages are opened and it takes the average person only 90 seconds to respond. When you stack that up against email open rates and response times (22% and 90 minutes respectively), it’s easy to see why retailers are turning to texting as the next great shopper tool.


Nordstrom, one of the largest luxury retailers in the world, recently introduced a shopping help tool, TextStyle. While the retailer released NEXT a personal shopper communication tool last year, TextStyle gives shoppers the benefit of actually purchasing items via texting.


How it works:
Nordstrom shoppers have to first sign up for the NEXT mobile communication service then enroll in TextStyle. Once signed up, personal shoppers will send Nordstrom shoppers pictures or descriptions of products specific to a shopper’s previous purchases or favorite brands. The shopper then has the option to purchase the product by simply replying with “buy” and a unique code. The transaction is then completed via the shopper’s Nordstrom account and the product is immediately shipped using the retailer’s standard free shipping.


The benefits of text messaging for retail use:
In a world of instant communication and gratification, smart phones and text messages rule. Texting is a wildly popular form of communicating with over 70% of smartphone users utilizing it. So in order to meet consumers where they’re already living(on a 4-6” screen), retailers are using texting based shopper services.


When it comes to luxury retail, where consumers can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single item, personalization and concierge services are highly demanded. Texting provides a luxury retailer like Nordstrom the ability to interact with shoppers with on a platform they are sure to respond to. Retailers can also offer targeted deals and products based on the peculiar tastes of luxury shoppers.


The ability to personalize and offer a digital concierge service to shoppers is the next step for retail technology. Building it into the traditional offline retail landscape is a challenge but one which plenty of brands are scrambling to solve.


Texting is something people of all ages find useful, but it’s primary preachers are millennials. Discover other technologies that can help improve your brand’s millennial shopping experience by downloading our latest retail ebriefing: Survive Next Generation Retail.


Posted by Andrew Changelian | Request as a Speaker

Client relationship manager & quarterback of complex integrated marketing campaigns. Family man & lover of all things Boston. Into sharp suits & leather shoes.