RCS is widely touted as the future of enterprise messaging. Its rich immersive formats bring a whole host of opportunities for enterprises to engage with consumers, that, combined with the ubiquity of smartphones, is tipped to replace many of the functions currently locked up in enterprise applications.
Where once a hotel chain might have offered an app to its customers, now everything in that app can instead be contained in a rich media message. Booking confirmation, payment receipt, maps to local attractions, interactive buttons to amend the booking, upgrade the room or purchase add on items – Champagne and strawberries on arrival or room service breakfast perhaps?
But what does RCS mean for the retail sector?
Savvy retailers have long understood that their relationship with customers is a cycle (both online and offline) that starts with awareness of a product or brand and ends with customer service, post-sale and beyond.
Getting this process right results in loyalty and repeat custom, but for it to work, consumers need to be engaged at every stage in their ‘journey’. Multiple strategies need to be brought in to play to make the process engaging, persuasive and rewarding – a blurring of the line between transaction and good customer service.
Here’s three ways that RCS is the perfect channel for retailers to engage with consumers at critical points in their journey.
Promotions, Loyalty, Notification
Just like SMS, RCS messaging is ideal for promotions, loyalty and notification. That’s because it will be a native function of all popular Android phones, making it the most direct way to engage with the largest consumer segment (without the need to download an app).
However, where once retailers had a few lines of text and a hyperlink to play with in an SMS, with RCS the whole experience can be a branded environment. Your logo and corporate colors can be included along with buttons, images and carousels so that consumers can respond to a promotion, change a delivery time or find their way to their nearest store from inside an interactive menu.
Campaigns can also be AB tested so that retailers can trial content and call-to-action buttons to optimize messages for different customer segments, or at different stages of the customer journey.
Personalized RCS takes it one step further, enabling communication with consumers in a way that captures their attention even more, and encourages them to interact according to a foreknowledge of specific preferences.
RCS does this dynamically because it has the power to integrate with CRM systems. Where once personalization meant sending a customer a message based on known basic information like name and birthday, now it can be sent according to a whole host of opted in data points.
Good examples of this could be; a contract renewal or upgrade for a mobile phone, redemption of loyalty points, upselling or cross selling based on previous purchases, product recalls or even location based marketing.
Buying from within a message
We’ve already discussed how RCS enables personalized promotion. Continuing on that theme, it could also include integration with payment platforms so that the customer experience of a targeted message (based on their preferences and known data points) could also include the option to buy from within that message rather than leaving it to visit a website or make a phone call.
Crucially, RCS minimizes the friction of consumer interaction and turns it into rewarding, rich engagement at any given stage of the customer journey.
Download our eBook here to find out more about how RCS can help open up a world of opportunities.