New Twilio Contest Category: Holiday Retail

twilio-netbook-contest-for-developersThe winner of last week’s contest will be announced shortly, but we want to give you as much time as possible to build submission’s for this week’s contest – Holiday Retail.

Guess what?  Our economy is elastic!  Especially during the holidays, all aspects of retail businesses become elastic… demand swells as retailers rack up a huge percent of their annual sales leading up to Christmas Eve.  Every part of retail must be elastic to meet the rush…  hiring, scheduling staff, advertising, ordering, organizing displays, inventory, returns and refunds, and much more.

This week we challenge you make these retail processes more efficient, especially during the enormous holiday rush, using voice applications forged with your Twilio development skills.

Here are some ideas…

* help businesses manage their seasonal staff with a phone line for checking schedules, calling in sick, and swapping shifts
* let customers call in a leave a note about items they’d like to buy, then family members can call in and enter that person’s phone number to retrieve the items
* provide coupons to customers via voice
* provide return and refund information over the phone so customers can handle issues without having to come in
* provide an “express checkout” option for customers who want to pay over the phone and skip the line
* set up notifications for key members of your staff to ensure orders, inventory, and restocking are completed on time
* set up your shelves to call staff whenever the store runs out of a product (or even call the vendor directly to re-order – vendor managed inventory)
* offer discounts to customers who make appointments over the phone to come in and work with a personal shopper
* provide a VIP hotline for personal shopping customers who spend over X dollars including concierge services like calling cabs, making dinner reservations, etc.