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Retailers: Press 4 to Increase Retail Sales with Targeted On-hold Messaging

Posted by Dick Anderson on Feb 15, 2016 8:00:00 AM
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Are your customers on hold with the cosmetics department hearing about your latest cosmetics promotion? Or are they just hearing music?

Retailers spent almost 13 billion dollars on digital advertising in 2015, accounting for a fifth of all digital advertising spend in the US. With the hope that it drives sales and reaches customers with a message to promote specific products. So why ignore the opportunity to deliver targeted promotional messages with your on-hold and in-store paging messaging?   

When I call my local store of a major department store chain and “press 4” for the cosmetics department, why do I hear on-hold messaging about a mattress sale? That would be like typing in “specialty cupcakes” in the Google search bar and getting results that might tell me where to shop for a new car! We all know it doesn’t work that way on Google search -- and it shouldn’t happen when your customers call your stores.

Retailers must and should promote their wares on the web, no argument there. The point is that they should also leverage their voice channel to augment that messaging by creating even more impressions. By delivering messaging to on-hold callers that is targeted, timely and relevant, you’ll drive more sales.  

One way to do this is to create targeted promotional messaging based on the department your customers are calling in to. For example, if they call the cosmetics department, then deliver a targeted, on-hold message related to specials or promotions on cosmetics, not mattresses. This approach can be replicated across all store departments, creating an entire new sales channel to drive and further align your omni-channel promotion activities and spend.

 Another great way to leverage on-hold messaging is directly tying in vendor messages. Think of it as turning the Google ad approach on its head. You can offer vendors the opportunity to have their promotional messages played and charge them for the privilege based on the number of times you play them. Using analytics from your phone system’s voice platform, you can see how many times customers heard a particular message. By tying that data to store POS data, retailers can deliver clear evidence to vendors of how the promotional “voice ad impressions” drove increased sales levels. Retailers can even pilot targeted vendor messaging in a sample number of stores, and then measure the difference between stores using vendor on-hold messages vs. those that don’t in terms of sales results. Armed with such analytics, most vendors who invest in web ads will certainly be interested in being an advertiser on your voice channel as well, creating a win-win for you both in terms of increased sales.

Retailers with legacy phone systems using older voice technology, however, lack the capability to deliver this kind of value, leaving a very significant ad and promotion channel untapped. With the right voice technology, this opportunity can be leveraged and managed from either the corporate or store level.

The right technology can also allow retailers to manage their overhead in-store paging chain-wide from a central console. Want to play a promotional credit card message on an hourly basis? With older technology, retailers must organize and coordinate such paging activity with their local store staff. This is expensive, cumbersome and resource sapping. With the right technology in place, using a central console, these messages can be created, scheduled and played without any need for store staff involvement, allowing them to stay focused on customers in the store.

Vertical has an unparalleled focus on voice solutions for retailers. We understand both your challenges and untapped opportunities you may not realize you have available. We have the technology that can help you drive store sales, improve customer experience and deliver increased store staff efficiency.

Give us a call to see how we can help. 

Topics: Retail

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