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Pick n Pay introduces self-service via WhatsApp

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Pick n Pay customers are now able to directly engage and connect with the retail giant, following the launch of its chat commerce facility today, available via WhatsApp.

The retailer has collaborated with Clickatell, a global customer engagement company, which already powers app-based chat services for organisations such as MTN, Absa and other retailers.

According to Pick n Pay, the new WhatsApp customer communication channel enables various services, including having frequently asked questions instantly answered, hosting product catalogues, COVID-19-related information, store locator, as well as providing Smart Shopper card services and other customer services-related options.

This includes the ability for its nine million active Smart Shoppers to view their loyalty points balance, block their lost or stolen cards, order card replacements and update their personal details, as well as enter competitions.

Clickatell says the solution enables millions of simultaneous customer interactions, massively reducing the time between customer query and resolution.

As e-commerce continues to accelerate, chat commerce, or conversational commerce, is expected to make up a significant portion of online shopping as more customers, utilise chatbots and messenger interactions to engage with retailers, say experts.

“According to Forrester research, retail is leading the way in chat adoption, and we are excited to provide an engaging experience for Pick n Pay customers in chat. Consumers love chat and with the broad reach of WhatsApp, it is the perfect channel for Pick n Pay to serve their customers,” says Pieter de Villiers, CEO and co-founder of Clickatell.

Customers can access the WhatsApp Pick n Pay service by texting “Hi” to +27 60 070 3037. The menu then allows shoppers to choose which action they want to perform.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Pick n Pay has been strengthening its digital strategy.

In October 2020, the retailer acquired Bottles, SA’s first on-demand liquor delivery app, in a move to accelerate its grocery, clothing and general merchandise online sales.

The acquisition came several months after Pick n Pay introduced a QR code-based contactless payment solution across its shops, to allow customers to pay for groceries using their phones.

“We are constantly looking to improve our customer service and make it easier for our customers to engage with us,” says John Bradshaw, head of omni-channel at Pick n Pay.

“WhatsApp is a popular communication channel, so it made sense to launch a chat option for our customers to engage with us whenever they choose. Customers are loving the WhatsApp messaging function and the opportunity to get store or Smart Shopper information within seconds.”

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