August 29, 2012, 4:01 PM

Coordinating deliveries via text message

American Sale reminds customers and lets them know if a shipment is running late.

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A harried working mom in need of some relaxation certainly wouldn’t want to forget when her new hot tub is arriving. If she ordered it from home recreation and holiday products retailer American Sale, she can use her mobile phone as a two-way communication device to coordinate the delivery so she can be soaking in soothing waters precisely when she wants.

During checkout on the e-commerce site, a customer can opt in to receive text message notifications regarding her delivery. The primary text message is a reminder of the date and time of the delivery sent the day before. If the delivery is running late, American Sale sends a text message with a revised time. The retailer includes in that message a click-to-call link that automatically dials customer service if the customer decides she needs to reschedule. These are standard text messages and work on any mobile phone, not just smartphones.

American Sale is using technology from Knotice to enable the text program. Knotice is a web and mobile e-mail and text message marketing firm.

“Nearly everyone has their mobile phone within arm’s reach, so to better connect with our customers, we turned to Knotice to help us implement a program that would provide them with value, convenience and save them time,” says Rick Septoski, marketing manager at American Sale.

The merchant already had been using Knotice for e-mail marketing and decided to add mobile capabilities to its marketing mix to better accommodate its customers, it says.

“Providing real value for the customer is an essential element of a successful text message program,” says Brian Deagan, co-founder and CEO of Knotice. “Companies that do this effectively can deepen customer relationships with mobile programs like reminders, updates and more.”

Retailers and other organizations looking to vendors to enable mobile commerce programs can learn the best ways of working with outside companies at the 2012 Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum in a session entitled “10 Questions to Ask Your M-commerce Technology Provider.”

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