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Retail’s Mobile Effort to “Touch Me”

     This past October 13th and 14th, SAP Retail hosted our annual Retail Forum in Las Vegas.  This year, it was all about mobility as part of a multi-channel retail strategy; how customers with smart phones shop and how retailers need a strategy to “touch” these customers in new, innovative ways.

     But while retailers work on their mobility strategy, developing apps on multiple operating systems, determining social strategies, delivery methods and measurements, they are all but ignoring an opportunity to “touch me.”  Talk to me the way I want to be talked to – via SMS or MMS.  Yes, retailers, why not text me?  I’m busy, I hate talking on the phone, and this is how I like to communicate; it’s my “touch point”.  It’s quick, efficient, and when I’m in a rush, I don’t want to wait for your website to load on my smart phone, or call you and spend endless amounts of time answering prompts to get to the right associate (and how often does that happen, really? It’s more likely I’ll hang up in frustration or get disconnected).  I’m a multi-tasker, and I’m used to corresponding quickly via texts.  Short bursts, no sales pitches.  Cut to the chase.  Yes or no.  Tell me something I want to know.

     My mobile device can be recognized when I walk in your store. Can you text me coupons when I walk in, so I don’t have to carry them in my handbag?  Can you text me when my prescription is ready for pick up?  Mr. or Ms. Sales Associate, why not send me a picture of the hot new boots you got in today via text? And, if you could put together an outfit and send me a picture, even better!  You do it on your website.  Now push it to me – via text.

     What if I want to text you?  Shouldn’t be so hard.  Why can’t I make a dinner reservation by text?  Wouldn’t it be nice if I could text my nearest store to see if they have my size in stock?  Or if not, could you tell me which stores in my area have it in stock now, so I’m not a lost sale?   If you could do this, I wouldn’t need to shop at your competition.

     Remember, m-commerce is supposed to be all about ME.  It’s about respect for MY time and how I like to shop.  If you can communicate with me via MY preferred method, not yours, “I’m gonna love you till the heavens stop the rain,” (“Touch Me”, The Doors, 1968 – I couldn’t help myself).  I will be your most loyal brand ambassador, shop you first and more frequently, and you will get a much larger part of my wallet than your competition.  So text me, please.

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