South Africa’s Dis-Chem Takes a Swing at WhatsApp Commerce

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Image sourced from Southcoast Mall.

Clickatell, a CPaaS innovator and Chat Commerce leader, has been selected by leading South African retailer, Dis-Chem Pharmacies, to enable WhatsApp as its customer communication channel to engage with its customers.

Dis-Chem customers can now quickly and easily access various services through WhatsApp by sending “Hi” to 0860 347 243. The easy to navigate menu then allows shoppers to choose which action they want to perform.

Utilising a conversational approach through WhatsApp, Dis-Chem’s millions of customers can: register for a Benefit Card and existing members can update their personal details; check their loyalty points balance; report lost or stolen cards and receive a digital replacement immediately; and register for Dis-Chem’s Baby Programme.

Dis-Chem will also use the channel to alert customers when their repeat medication is due for collection or when delivery from their preferred store is ready through “Pack My Meds”, which is Dis-Chem’s online repeat medicine ordering platform. Lastly, the channel provides a general FAQ section that has information about clinic services, delivery services, and other store information.

“Consumers have shown they prefer to use chat channels, and WhatsApp in particular, to engage with each other and with their favourite brands. It makes excellent sense for Dis-Chem to offer WhatsApp as a fast and cost-effective way for their customers to do business with the retailer,” said Werner Lindemann, ​​Clickatell’s Commercial SVP for Growth Markets.

“What’s more, it provides them with a platform that is perfectly designed to administer support and time-efficient responses and new functionality anytime. We are looking forward to building the partnership with Dis-Chem over the coming months and years as we innovate and co-create new services using the chat app that will meet their customers’ growing digital expectations.”

Retailers using Chat Commerce technology can enjoy significant gains including higher revenue growth, stronger customer retention, reduced service costs, and increased marketing effectiveness.

An Aberdeen Research survey commissioned by Clickatell shows organisations can benefit from a 75% boost in annual revenue growth and a 48% increase in customer retention rates.

“Delivering the WhatsApp channel to our customers resolves an immediate customer experience need, adds to our ability to continue to deliver superior convenience and gives us an excellent opportunity to expand our digital offering in the future. Our teams have worked closely to ensure our customers will find the user interface intuitive and the service immediately convenient and valuable,” comments Lynne Blignaut, Head of Loyalty & Customer Rewards at Dis-Chem.


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