As brands search for innovative ways to interact with their audiences, SMS for events and retail experiences has emerged as one of the main channels for high customer engagement.
No wonder why: mobile-first experience is necessary while more people spend time on their phones. As Statista highlights, “In 2021, mobile users in the United States sent roughly 2 trillion SMS or MMS messages.”
SMS communication comes with multiple challenges, such as managing user experience, capturing relevant data, ensuring timing, and maintaining a solid brand image and reputation.
However, despite these issues, SMS communication is vital for events and retail experiences thanks to direct engagement, impressive open rates, instant delivery, high personalization, versatility, and integration capabilities. Retail companies must use SMS responsibly and thoughtfully to balance challenges and benefits to maintain trust and positive customer relationships.
Next, we’ll discuss ways to leverage SMS communication for events and retail experiences.
How To Use SMS for Events and Retail Experiences
Whether setting up a pop-up store or hosting a private sale session, SMS communication is crucial for efficiently engaging customers. Nowadays, SMS is not just a way to send messages—it’s a vital part of achieving success in the retail industry.
Here are five great ways to harness the power of SMS for retail events and experiences:
1. Manage Booking Appointment
SMS communication can simplify online or in-store appointment bookings. When making a booking request, customers can receive automated SMS responses guiding them through the steps to confirm a suitable date and time.
Brands can also use SMS to send booking confirmations, modifications, and reminders a day or a few hours before the scheduled appointment. This direct line of communication speeds up the process and minimizes the chance of errors or misunderstandings. Also, it allows the customer to plan their visit better, improving the in-store experience.
On the business’s end, it can aid in efficient staff management and reduce the occurrence of no-shows.
2. Send Check-in Welcome SMS
Upon arrival, attendees can receive a welcome SMS with relevant event information. The welcome SMS could include a concise schedule, clear indications of key locations like talk rooms or food and beverage counters, and essential details like Wi-Fi passwords.
By making this information readily available, brands can ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience for all attendees. This proactive approach ensures that attendees are not left scrambling for details about the event.
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3. Send Discount Codes After Event Check-in
One effective strategy to boost attendee engagement and encourage spending at events is the distribution of discount codes via SMS immediately after check-in. The code could be used for purchases during the event or later.
This strategy serves as a thank-you gesture for people’s attendance and motivates attendees to explore the brand’s offerings during the event.
Presenting the opportunity to use the discount during the event or later can drive immediate sales, encourage repeat business, and generate ongoing customer engagement.
4. Create Opportunities for Engagement
Gamification is a powerful tool for driving engagement, and SMS provides a perfect platform. Attendees can receive an SMS before or during the event inviting them to participate in an interactive game.
These could range from a treasure hunt that encourages exploration of the event space, trivia questions that promote deeper understanding and appreciation of the brand, or even a lucky draw that adds an element of excitement.
Winners could receive prizes via SMS, including discount codes, exclusive products, or other attractive rewards.
5. Receive VIP Participant Notification
Ensuring VIP attendees or clients receive the appropriate attention during larger events or in busy retail settings can be challenging. SMS notifications offer a simple, efficient solution to this issue.
Once the VIP checks in, the event organizer or retail director will receive an automated SMS notification. This real-time update lets the director personally greet the VIP attendee or ensure that the staff provides exceptional service, fostering a positive and memorable experience.
These strategies demonstrate how SMS can be employed innovatively for events and retail experiences, providing value to brands and their customers.
By tailoring SMS communication to the needs and preferences of attendees, brands can enhance customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Harnessing Eventtia for Enhanced SMS Communication in Retail
Choosing the right platform is paramount despite the diverse strategies to utilize SMS for retail events and experiences. Eventtia, an event management software, is a comprehensive solution for retailers looking to maximize SMS communications.
With Eventtia’s Massive SMS option in the Communications module, retailers can directly reach the mobile phones of their attendees.
How to Use Eventtia for SMS Communications
- Step 1. Begin in the Registration Module: Navigate to Communications.
- Step 2. Select the “Mass SMS” option: This is your starting point for crafting personalized messages.
- Step 3. Customize your audience: Choose specific groups you wish to target, such as:
- Types: Tailor your messages based on your customer types.
- Activities: Target customers registered for specific product or brand-related activities and workshops.
- Categories: Group customers by category for targeted messaging.
- Craft your message: Personalize your SMS using labels tailored for your participants.
- Send or schedule your SMS: Review your estimated audience. You have the flexibility to edit, clone, or delete messages. Decide whether to send it immediately or schedule it for later.
Using Eventtia, retailers can ensure that their SMS communication strategy is effective and tailored to their customers’ unique needs and preferences.
- SMS has emerged as a critical engagement channel for events and retail experiences, driven by the prevalence of mobile devices and the need for a mobile-first experience.
- SMS for events and retail experiences has multiple benefits, including direct engagement, high open rates, instant delivery, simple and personalized messaging, versatility in application, and integration capabilities with other marketing channels.
- While SMS is a powerful tool, it comes with challenges, including maintaining user experience, leveraging data for business insights, technical segmentation, and managing brand image and reputation.
- SMS communication goes beyond conventional uses and can be applied innovatively in retail events and experiences. Innovative applications include managing booking appointments, sending check-in welcome SMS, dispatching discount codes, creating opportunities for gamification, and enabling real-time notifications for VIP participant arrivals.
Need help with communication at your events? Our experts are here to guide you. Contact us today to explore how Eventtia can transform your retail events.