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Raising the Bar on the Retail Floor: Mobile Messaging for Customer Self Service

Anyone who has ever worked on the floor in a retail environment should be eligible for some sort of medal. I still have flashbacks to my time as a store associate at WalMart. Had I been equipped with an extra pair of arms and legs, I still don’t know whether I could have kept up with the overwhelming sea of customers needing assistance during big sales.

As frustrating as this is to the sales associate, it can be even more frustrating to consumers. Those in the swarm who can’t get their questions answered, or the size, color, or configuration they need, often walk away empty handed and disillusioned, taking their wallets elsewhere.

Today, retailers are finding a solution to this problem – in the palm of their hand. At this year's NRF show, we announced that Epicor is now helping retailers leverage text messaging for in store self-service/customer service, to both empower customers and relieve overwhelmed store associates. By giving customers easy access to product data via their smart phones, putting product information in the hands of consumers, they are finding they can improve customer sales support without putting extra sales representatives on the floor.

Guided by in store displays, customers can text a keyword to a short code to get information about that product. It’s somewhat analogous to a concept that has been used in museums for a number of years now. View an exhibit and access a device to obtain information about the item on display.

After texting the keyword to a short code, customers receive a text message with an embedded link to a mobile optimized web page where they can view product information, pricing, consumer reviews and even make a purchase. Consumers may also find features such as: store locators, “send to friend”, and sign up for text message alerts for on-going specials, offers and promotions.

This use of mobile messaging provides real-time connections to satisfy customer needs, and support cross-channel efforts to unite in store and online worlds. If you’re at NRF, come drop by our booth – 2105 – for a live demonstration.

Posted by Dave Burton, Director, CRM Product & Services, Epicor

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