The new feature allows shoppers to ask store associates questions about product availability, sizes, colors and other product design features.

Lamps Plus Inc. last December implemented a texting program that enables shoppers to text with store associates

Each store manager or assistant store manager at its 37 stores use the retailer’s company iPhone during store hours to text with shoppers.

Lamps Plus - Texting Store imageShoppers can find the number to text associates within marketing emails, in catalogs and on store pages online. Shoppers that are geographically located near a store will see an option on the mobile website that reads “text store for availability” on product detail pages

Consumers can ask questions, send photos of their home to ask about interior design or ask store associates to send  product photos and videos from the store. Products can also be reserved through text for pickup in store.

Lamps Plus says the most frequently sent customer texts are about product availability, sizes, colors and other product design features.

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Lamps Plus says the feature is boosting customer engagement given that it receives thousands of customer texts per week, while the number of calls it receives has remained stable, the retailer says. About 15% of online shoppers have texted a retailer for customer service, according to an Internet Retailer and BizRate Insights survey of 1,110 online shoppers in January.

Text conversations at Lamps Plus typically last a few exchanges. Lamps Plus says many shoppers go on to reserve a product in a text or switch to a phone call for a purchase. The retailer doesn’t accept credit card information over SMS but will accept it while talking on the phone.

Lamps Plus says the service is convenient for shoppers, as they can respond to texts whenever they want, plus the conversation is enhanced because they can share photos. The retailer says it also helps build a relationship between a store associate and shopper before the shopper even comes to the store.

Lamps Plus employees complete hundreds of online training sessions per year, so they remain knowledgeable about its products.

Lamps Plus is No. 140 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.

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