By Olatayo Ladipo-Ajai

We are on the cusp of the festive shopping season, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the spending spree in the run up to Christmas and Boxing Day. However, this year’s shopping season will be very different compared to previous years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sale, in a Nigeria context, emerged from major eCommerce players back in 2013 and has since spread to through to retailers and merchants of all sizes. This year there is a significant uptake of eCommerce and we have seen more retailers diversifying their product offering in anticipation of this season, some coming into categories not previously their core business, for example, SPAR started offering a delivery option to customers doorsteps at no extra cost. Prices from store to store became more competitive and customer service improved.

From the outset, retailers are engaging buyers through various mediums, from traditional broadcast Ads, to Newspaper publications and Mobile messaging communication (SMS, Email, MaM and even Voice messaging). However, in order for businesses to drive strong sales results, they need to leverage technology and innovation to engage with their customers via digital platforms in a targeted approach. An e-commerce enterprise is only as good as the communication channels it uses, so businesses in this space should aim to drive convenience through Customer Experience (CX), by reaching their customers in the most convenient and beneficial way.


Customers are expecting interactions that are informed by insights into their preferences and behaviour, meaning that they are demanding personalisation and context to significantly shape engagement. In order to fulfil this customer expectation, an organisation’s shopping season communication strategy must be data driven. Based on customer insights, businesses can see a complete picture of consumer behaviour, and develop a rock solid messaging strategy in tandem.

Customer data profiles allow organisations to personalise conversations, based on demographics, geographics and past purchases. In addition, retailers can set behavioural triggers that indicate when and how customers use their apps and visit their websites.

Targeted and personalized communications

The importance of targeted, personalised communication to enhance customer experience cannot be over emphasized as competition is currently very stiff currently. There are new players popping up daily on different channels including social media and buyers have declining attention spans. Therefore, it is important to engage them more frequently, deeply, and personalizing messages to improve customer experience and increase loyalty.

In this age of smart phones and social media, customer experience can easily make or break businesses. Messages should be targeted based on Web or App events such as cart abandonment, segmentation and tagging, behavioural traits etc. Consumers are more likely to engage as these messages are targeted to the consumers shopping interests and likely interests.


In this modern era, retailers must realise that a solid CX strategy is one of their biggest assets, especially as customers are relying on technology as a means to engage with brands and purchase goods and services. Organisations must place a higher emphasis on digital communication channels in response to customer demands.

For enterprises to reach customers across multiple touchpoints, there is need for an all-encompassing solution; an omnichannel customer engagement platform that will unify channels and personalise messaging to customers. This platform should enable enterprises to send targeted communication through Emails or messages via social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp – ubiquitous channels used by people every day intelligently.

Furthermore, there is need for a platform that will co-ordinate customer behaviour traits and engagements across each touchpoint in a way that delivers a set of outcomes, such as operational efficiency and finally optimise CX.

Setup your store, website and app

The festive shopping season attracts higher footfall and online traffic than usual, which means a retailer’s stores, website and app must be ready to take on the increase in traffic without sacrificing CX.

The physical stores should be branded with promotion signage whilst adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions; this includes one way shopping directions, social distancing, encouraging the wearing of a mask, and hand sanitiser stations, amongst others.

For the website and app, retailers should look to invest in the right omnichannel customer engagement solution that will deliver advanced opportunities for connecting via digital channels. The solution for enterprises is to build connected customer profiles and push automated campaigns at the right time across key channels. Also, customer support may require a boost by integrating intuitive chatbots with a smooth transition to live agents for complex enquiries.

Customers have a tendency to window shop before they purchase, so e-tailers should encourage them by making it easy to pick up where they left off enhancing their omnichannel connectivity with triggered campaigns that prompt consumers to finalise a purchase. This can be done through automated workflows for email campaigns, chat apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, SMS, or push notification campaigns to maximise conversions.

During the shopping season, many customers are looking for the best deals and are likely to be enticed by discounts in the long term, however, retailers should build on this and incentivise newly acquired customers to become advocates. Data driven insights should inform targeted and personalised communication campaigns on the customer’s preferred channels. This is what will drive sales and a competitive edge for retailers this Black Friday.

Olatayo Ladipo-Ajai is the Country Manager at Infobip Nigeria


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

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