How Retailers Can Engage Audiences in Unprecedented Times


Product Marketing Director

3 min read

With streets and stores closed, retailers are feeling the negative effects of the Corona Virus pandemic. WhatsApp is helping retailers get sales online, keep customers informed and engage audiences.

Across the globe, retailers are keeping their stores’ doors closed. Sales are down, incomes have dramatically reduced. Even with a temporary recession looming, people keep shopping online to fulfill their basic needs. And online shopping is the answer to keep the retail business afloat.

Using current messaging technologies like SMS and WhatsApp can help a great deal in various ways. From reducing the impact of social distancing to enabling process orders, informing customers and rebooking services, chat commerce will only grow. Here’s how retailers can adapt and survive in unpredictable times – and thrive.

Message notifications

Messaging has been part of our lives for a while. Now, many companies use SMS, WhatsApp and other chat apps to interact with customers to share relevant and time-critical information.

For example, many essential retailers including supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores, corner shops, post offices, banks, launderettes and pet shops use WhatsApp to notify customers about when their shops are opened, pickup times, service updates and more.

For retailers that have been forced to close their brick and mortar stores, strengthening their online presence makes sense. In these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to get in touch with customers to let them know about delayed deliveries, cancelled orders, order replacements, refunds and more. Offering chat commerce options makes sense, too.

Taking a proactive approach with your customers also means handling less customer inquiries through your contact center.

Chat commerce

Companies can bring their stores to WhatsApp. Implementing Chat Commerce via automated WhatsApp conversations can be a great way to remove ordering friction.

For example, food companies are increasingly turning to WhatsApp and chatbots to enable automated orders. Customers don’t need to download yet another brand app – they just need to get in touch with the brand directly on WhatsApp. Well-timed messages keep customers updated throughout the ordering process, from meal preparation to meal pickup and delivery to their door.  

Other retailers can also profit from Chat Commerce. From fashion to furniture and FCMG, companies can invest in Personalized Shopping to offer personalized advice, help customers navigate the sea of product options and keep selling their products.

Sponsored Content on Instagram and Facebook

While many industries have been massively impacted by COVID-19, engagement on sponsored content is increasing as Instagram and WhatsApp usage has increased by over 40 percent. For many brands, audience engagement is a must. At the same time, they also want tighter control of their advertising budgets.

For brands that want to keep engaging audiences during this crisis – especially as people with disposable income look for new, engaging products – investing in Instagram and Facebook ads with the click-to-WhatsApp option can be a great way to offer personalized information.

Retailers can use sponsored content for brand awareness, to provide products designed for staying at home/staycations (e.g. art supplies, books, board games) and more.    

How tyntec can help

We can help you stay connected with your customers during this crisis. Working with tyntec, you can get your WhatsApp and SMS accounts up and running in no time. We also have partners who specialize in chatbots for automated conversations.

Book a free consultation session to talk to our experts.

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