BOPIS, curbside pickup, and retail: New fulfillment strategies are changing customer expectations—and how retailers meet them
Since the pandemic began, curbside pickup and buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) shopping has exploded. Surveys show 80 percent of consumers expect to increase their BOPIS and curbside pickup practices in the coming months, and a majority expect all retailers to provide mobile or contactless pickup/check in options too.
With major retailers like Walmart, Target, and The Home Depot among the most popular brands offering curbside pickup and BOPIS shopping, it’s safe to say these fulfillment options—particularly BOPIS, which was gaining momentum even before COVID-19 hit—are here to stay, pandemic notwithstanding.
BOPIS is a sound investment
Twilio research shows retailers whose leadership indicated stronger intent to invest in BOPIS and order fulfillment technologies in the past 18-24 months are outperforming their peers in the stock market since the onset of the pandemic.
That sort of ROI has retail leaders paying attention: according to the Forrester Q1 2020 Omnichannel Panel Survey, 79 percent …
Don't just regift, rethink: Personalizing your customer's digital holiday shopping experience
We’ve all received a present that felt like it had been sitting in someone’s basement or re-gifted with more emphasis on urgency than thoughtfulness.
Oh thank you, you said meekly as you opened it with feigned enthusiasm. You shouldn’t have, you declared quietly as you stuck it your own regifting pile.
In holiday gift exchanging, as with holiday customer engagement, personalization matters.
During a typical holiday season, shoppers are already inundated with emails, alerts, and targeted content from every corner of every device they own. This year in particular, though, as more shoppers go online and navigate new norms of BOPIS and contactless delivery practices, communicating with your customers requires more mindfulness than ever—and personalization is one core component of that.
Never has ‘there’s no place like home for the holidays’ rang more true than in 2020. After nearly a year in quarantine, U.S. consumers are shopping …
How subscription-based businesses can use SMS to improve customer engagement and ensure recurring revenue
This post was contributed by Fusebill. Fusebill is a software platform that simplifies subscription billing management by automating manual accounting, financial processes, and workflows.
If you’re looking for the best way to communicate with your subscription customers, it’s hard to go wrong with SMS, or text messaging.
Around 95 percent of people own mobile phones, with texting being the most used function, so you’re certainly connecting with customers in a way they’re used to. Additionally, 9 out of 10 consumers say they actually prefer communicating with businesses by text, with many labeling it an unobtrusive, fast, and convenient means of communication.
It’s no wonder SMS has become such a popular marketing tool—one frequently used to share special business offers and discounts with customers, promote surveys, and offer customer support.
As it turns out, SMS is also an effective tool for finance teams—especially those working within a B2C subscription …
IoT and smart home innovation in the age of COVID-19
COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on the real estate industry. Social distancing norms, layoffs, and shifts in demand have sent professionals across all areas of the sector scrambling—but innovators are adapting with tech-driven solutions.
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is already a part of our lives in countless ways. This system of internet-connected devices collects and transfers data through a wireless network, without the need for human involvement. In this fundamental way, IoT is perfectly suited to social distancing, and in the rental industry, innovators like SmartRent are leveraging it to better support their customers.
Despite COVID-19, the rental market is far from stagnant: Renters signed nearly 20 percent more new leases in May 2020 compared to May 2019, according to the RealPage platform. On the commercial side, a May 2020 survey of commercial tenants found 44 percent of respondents were ready to commit to lease …
Making a list: The retailer’s complete guide to a pandemic holiday season
The hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season will look a bit different this year, but the season is far from cancelled. As consumer digital spending habits morphed and changed over 2020, retailers reacted in stride— educating, shifting, and pivoting themselves to better handle this year’s holiday season.
Learn how they are preparing (and how you can too!) for a COVID-19 shopping season with a shift from brick and mortar to digital storespaces, aiding customers in shopping safely with contactless commerce, and an entire three months devoted to shopping from home, in our holiday retail coverage below.
Where are you, Black Friday? Retailers kick off holiday shopping early to pace shoppers and avoid crowding
In an effort to keep customers safe and crowds at bay, many big box retailers are offering holiday sales as early as October as well as completely closing down on Thanksgiving to encourage consumers with …
Pull back to launch forward: Harnessing the power of pause in business planning
This is the first in a series of columns from the Twilio Foundry team, beginning with lead visioneering consultant Sam Richardson.
“Bring it on!”
That’s normally how I respond to change: I embrace it, full steam ahead. This year, though, has been a bit different.
Like so many of us, I’ve found myself overwhelmed by fear-inducing headlines and the constant, unrelenting pace of new information, new ways of existing, and urges to “accelerate.”
This “new normal,” digital acceleration, our “brave new world,” the great recession: no one phrase is menacing on its own, but thrown on top of each other, over the span of a few months… it’s a bit much.
Here at Twilio, we’re as much a part of it as anyone: we tout the benefits of our ability to rapidly scale and how we’re built for speed, and that’s usually a very good thing.
But sometimes, it isn’t. …
A Picasso, a freight train, and how to make your business’s alerts and notifications stick out from the noise
Art and function. Experience and utility. A Picasso painting and a freight train. Individually, each serves a purpose. One for enjoyment, one for functionality.
In customer engagement, you need both: utility to make your campaign useful to your customer, and a delightful experience to make it enjoyable.
But you can’t just stick a Picasso painting in a freight train and call it a day.
Connecting utility and experience to enhance the customer journey requires thinking differently about how to make these two concepts actually work together.
Alerts and notification messages are one powerful way to marry these two concepts to improve consumer trust, but first you must break through the noise—a growing challenge in today's digital world.
And while it might seem simple, elementary even, to just send a mass message about a change in store hours or push out a generic delivery notification, in doing so, you miss a …
SIGNAL 2020: Empowerment, technology for good, and other major themes from our annual customer and developer conference
The Twilio community kicked off our annual customer and developer conference, SIGNAL, last week, to discuss and explore the future of communication, customer engagement, and the times we’re all living through since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the entire world earlier this year.
While SIGNAL looked a bit different compared to last year, as our first fully-remote, online event, the inspiration and energy was just as high as we welcomed business leaders from companies including Delta, Nike, and many more, and heard from speakers including Barack Obama, Bill Nye, Trevor Noah, Spike Lee, and others.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share our highlights and deep dives into the dozens of sessions attendees enjoyed, but in the meantime, here are the key trends and themes that emerged last week.
As a community, we’re all focused on empowering businesses and individuals to join or continue the great digital acceleration through intelligent, long-term, scalable …
The pandemic is driving more companies to hand customers the wheel
While the difficulties we’ve collectively faced as individuals, businesses, and a society in 2020 are impossible to ignore, this year and more specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic, has also ushered in some silver linings in how we approach communication technology and helping (as opposed to merely selling to) customers.
In particular, this pandemic has highlighted the universal need for easy, digital-based access to health care and education, and the importance of safety and security across both. Because of this, more companies are creating technology that hands the reins over to their customers to access information on their own terms.
In seeing this shift, we’ve identified seven major ways that businesses have used COVID-19 as a time to build a better customer experience model focused on autonomy. Scroll to find examples of how innovative organizations are using tech to make people healthier, safer, and more educated about the world today.
Self-service—addressing common …
How financial services can digitize to create a better mortgage lending experience
Financial services companies face a growing list of challenges (and opportunities) that increasingly require digital solutions. COVID-19 has brought that reality into stark focus, and has made digital capabilities a key differentiator in the financial services space.
With limitations around in person interactions, the pandemic has completely transformed how consumers interact with their banks. In fact, one BCG study found that 24 percent of consumers plan on visiting branches less—or not going altogether.
And why should they? If they can buy a car, order food, or even work and learn from home, why shouldn’t the same be true for their financial dealings?
The pandemic has undoubtedly created a lot of challenges and highlighted barriers to operations over the past couple of months. But, it has also served up a multitude of opportunities for banks to differentiate themselves through digitization.