New products, changing daily prices, discounts for remaining items or product recalls: in order to keep all staff up to date regarding campaigns and activities, retailers must rely on means of communication that function effectively. But which communication channel is most appropriate for this task? How can the company ensure that thousands of branch offices are informed simultaneously and reliably? There is one golden rule that managers should definitely consider in their communications strategy: Only when all staff are sufficiently informed about upcoming activities and campaigns will success on the sales floor ensue.
Alternative communication channels are required
At first glance, sending an email newsletter seems the most obvious choice. However, what works brilliantly in many cases, is not always necessarily the best means of communication in the retail world. In a sector in which the employees spend little of their work day at a PC, emails are only read after a long delay – if at all. This means that alternative channels of communication are required. Notification via SMS or fax provides a practical alternative.
A fax device can easily be operated in every retail store, even without IT employees or extensive maintenance. As opposed to email, incoming faxes automatically arrive directly on the sales floor – ensuring that they get attention. This is of particular importance with regard to order forms. With the aid of online transmission platforms such as Retarus WebExpress the head office, for instance, can insert recipient-specific barcodes into fax messages. Thanks to this identifier, orders which are completed and returned can be automatically assigned to the respective store. Due to digital processing, incoming faxes can also be indexed and are thus retrievable at all times via a full text search.
From Adidas to Thomas Cook: Reliable communication with branch offices and travel agencies
Being one of the largest manufacturers of sports articles in the world, the Adidas Group depends on a sturdy and reliable communication system. The company uses fax to draw the attention of retailers to new products, prices or marketing campaigns. In order to reliably and successfully manage the transmission of messages to thousands of dealers, Adidas relies on Retarus’ Messaging Infrastructure. The managed service facilitates the transmission of almost unlimited volumes of faxes quickly and cost-effectively around the world – without having to make any additional investment into specific hardware, fax lines or software. Likewise, travel specialist Thomas Cook AG sends numerous messages and circulars related to sales and marketing campaigns to approximately 10,000 travel agencies around the world. Per month the amount of fax pages adds up to 170,000. To ensure quick and reliable delivery across all channels, Retarus WebExpress has also proven to be the perfect solution. The main goal of the tourism company is to manage the transmission of email as well as fax campaigns using only one platform.
When time is of the essence: staff notifications via SMS
For particularly important messages, such as product recalls in food retail, in some cases neither email nor fax is the best channel of communication. If the aim is to reach staff in the stores without delay, the mobile phone remains the best option. In this case contact is best made via an SMS message. This is because the well-established standard ensures that it doesn’t matter at all which model of mobile phone each employee uses. Moreover, no special apps are required. For this reason supermarket chains always use attention-grabbing SMS messages when especially time-critical information needs to be communicated.
No matter whether you want to communicate via email, fax or SMS the multi-channel messaging platform Retarus WebExpress provides you with the options that you need. Find out more about this service by clicking here or directly from your local Retarus contact person. If you would like to know more about messaging services for retailers, you should also take a look at our sector-specific site Retarus for Retail & Wholesale.