How To Tailor Retail SMS To Each Of Your Locations

Retail SMS around the world

Large retail brands are reliable. Customers walk through a multi-chain retail store expecting to receive a similar experience than they might in an entirely different state. They will, however, expect to find slightly different, localized customer service wherever they go. Southerners, for example, will expect a checkout assistant to say “y’all,” while Bostonians might expect a comment about the freezing weather. These kinds of unique interactions should extend to retail SMS, too. 

A business text messaging platform should be intuitive enough to deploy at the edge of a retail organization. Each store can have its own platform, instead of or in addition to a centralized call center managing communications. This is one way that large retailers can build a stronger, more localized relationship with customers. 

And while a retail brand might use the same business SMS platform in each of its stores, that doesn’t mean that service has to be the same in each location. Because each store will have its own shared inbox, customer service and retail text message marketing teams can take company-wide initiatives and tweak them to appeal to locals. This kind of tailored service emphasizes the community-centric nature of a retail store—even if it has hundreds of locations. 

Tips For Localizing Your Retail SMS Messages

So how can your brand tailor retail SMS to each of your locations? Read on to find out. 

Stick To Cultural Norms

Each part of the country (and world) has certain cultural norms. If your team breaks the norms while texting, it’ll be clear that your store is an outsider. 

When local teams create retail SMS campaigns or SMS customer service guidelines, they should consider:

  • Relevant local events and stories
  • Polite actions or courtesies particular to the area
  • Prominent local industries or employers

For example, if you have a store in San Francisco, it wouldn’t make sense to send order notification texts at 4 a.m. PST. Alternatively, in the Southern United States, women expect you to say “ma’am” or “miss” when you address them. Each of these cultural quirks will help customers know that your team is part of their community.  

Use Regional Phrases

One of the easiest ways to let customers know you’re part of their community is to speak—or text—like they do. Depending on where your stores are located and your company’s culture, there may be regional phrases that your teams can use in texts. 

For example, here are some potential regional phrases you can insert into retail text message marketing campaigns or conversations. 

Region/State/CityExample Phrases & Definitions
The Southern United States“Y’all”: you all

Y’all have a good trip with your new gear! 

Wisconsin“Bubbler”: water fountain

Sometimes, bubblers just don’t cut it. You need a fresh bottle of water.   

New York City“Brick”: very cold
Wrap up. It’s brick outside! 


Whether your stores are located in the U.S. or abroad, be sure to consult with someone in the area to confirm that using certain phrases in retail SMS campaigns is appropriate for a professional conversation. 

Reference Local Events

Another way to ensure customers know you’re part of the community is to reference local events or news. For example, a retail text message marketing campaign centered in New York City might mention running gear for the upcoming marathon. A retailer in San Francisco might mention picnic blankets for the upcoming Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. 

Look for local events to tie your retail SMS content to, including:

  • Fairs and festivals
  • Group events
  • Government-sponsored holidays 
  • Positive local news (local hero, etc.)

By creating relevant content around local events, your SMS marketing for retail campaigns will be sure to resonate. 

Relate the Current Weather To a Local Event or Sale

Who doesn’t like to chat about the weather? Both customer service agents and marketing teams can use local weather to highlight an event their business is sponsoring or show they belong to the community. 

Both positive and negative weather can be folded into SMS marketing for retail messages. Here are three examples:

  • Wow, {{customer name}}—the weather is wild this week! If you and yours need an umbrella before heading to our Bazaar tonight, we have a few left. Y’all stop by before we close at 6! —Quick Stop
  • Hi, {{customer name}}! This is perfect weather for an adventure down the coast. We’ve got sunglasses if you need them! —Ray’s Glasses
  • It’s finally getting chilly—time to pull out winter gear. Need a blanket to go with those slippers? Check out our new fuzzies that arrived today. —Home Hearth

Each of these retail SMS messages make it clear that the store in question is intensely local—and that it prioritizes a good customer experience. 

Invite Customers To Your Retail Store Via SMS

The best way to ensure customers know your stores are community-centric is to invite them to visit. If your store has regular events, retail SMS is a great way to send invitations. If your store doesn’t host regular events, invite customers anyway. SMS offers a way to provide customers with a “exclusive” invite to a store event. This helps customers feel special, like they’re on the inside of your brand operations. 

For example, a store might say something like:

  • Hello {{customer name}}! Ace Toys here. You indicated interest in our new product, the {{product interest}}. Heads up that it’s in stores if you’d like to come grab one! 
  • Hi there {{customer name}}. As a Loyalty SMS List member, you’re invited to shop for 50% off all in-store items today. Come visit! 
  • Hi {{customer name}}, our team misses you! Pop in for a coffee at our new in-store cafe soon. 

You may even consider offering extra treats to retail SMS list members. This is a great way to strengthen your brand’s retail SMS community—and build customer loyalty. 

Want to learn more about SMS marketing for retail? Check out our SMS resources and retail text message marketing page

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