The Power of Ecommerce Texting: How SMS Boosts Online Sales

June 27, 2023 | By Kate Parish
Woman looking at phone receiving messages

Thanks to the power of ecommerce messaging, businesses can communicate with clients in a more personalized, real-time manner, significantly influencing online sales.

SMS marketing, often known as text message marketing, makes use of the accessibility and portability of mobile devices to send customized messages directly to clients' phones. Leveraging this dynamic communication channel has evolved into an essential tactic for companies looking to acquire a competitive edge thanks to the billions of smartphone users worldwide.

This article examines the enormous potential of ecommerce texting and how it might significantly increase your online sales. We explore the main benefits of SMS marketing and provide persuasive data to support our findings. For instance, according to Gartner, SMS messages outperform other digital marketing platforms with an incredible 98% open rate. Apart from that, according to a Harris Poll, 77% of customers feel they are likely to have a favorable opinion of a company offering SMS.

Additionally, we look at how ecommerce companies may use texting to their advantage, from personalized order confirmations and cart abandonment reminders to targeted product suggestions and unique offers.

SMS Marketing Defined

SMS marketing (text message marketing) is the activity of delivering notifications or promotional messages to customers via SMS or text messages to interact with consumers and advertise goods, services, or events.

Businesses and organizations that use SMS marketing often acquire their target market's phone numbers before delivering relevant and timely messages. Due to SMS's character limits, the messages are usually brief. Here are the types of messages SMS marketing includes:

Promotional Messages

Sending contacts discounts, early access to bargains, and coupon codes are the most typical use cases for ecommerce SMS marketing. This might appear in the subscriber's initial welcome message or at any other point. Sellers can use tools such as an ecommerce scraper for a quick search of data that might be relevant for ecommerce customers.

Phone example of promo text

Transactional Messages

An activity or transaction between a company and its clients or users often sets off a communication known as a transactional message. It is frequently used to describe how a user interacts with goods or services. These communications may include order confirmations, password resets, shipment alerts, etc.

Phone example of transactional text

Order Updates

Keeping clients informed about their purchases or announcing a shipment delay is among the most common instances of message usage for ecommerce texting.

Phone example of shipping notification

Abandoned Cart Messages

Nothing is more upsetting than when a consumer leaves their cart without purchasing anything. Luckily, SMS marketing is often the best answer to the "how to reduce cart abandonment" question.

Phone example of abandoned cart text

The Benefits of Ecommerce Texting

We've already mentioned some of the core ecommerce texting benefits, but let's dive deeper into the topic and explore all the advantages in greater detail.

Higher Open and Engagement Rates

SMS is a direct and highly personalized form of communication. When the message arrives in an inbox, it will be mixed in with those from your customer's closest friends and family. Finally, unlike emails or push notifications, which are frequently disregarded, consumers are accustomed to reading and responding to text messages. Within three minutes after receiving, the average open rate for SMS is reported to be about 95%. Contrast that with email marketing, which has an overall average open rate of 25%.

Lower Price

SMS marketing is excellent for companies with limited resources. The cost of your SMS messages will vary depending on your text message marketing platform. Plans at Mobile Text Alerts start at $19 per month.

When you put up typical automation like welcome series, abandoned cart notifications, and cross-sells, you can let them run for a few months before you need to look at the stats and figure out what you can do to improve. Unlike marketing channels like influencer marketing or digital advertising, you are not required to pay for your customers' attention here.

Reduced Cart Abandonment

By connecting with consumers directly and sending out reminders and incentives at the right times, SMS marketing may be a successful technique for decreasing cart abandonment.

Loyalty Nurturing

You need to establish connections with your audience to build loyalty. SMS is one of the few ecommerce marketing methods that enables direct connection. Compare this to a hypothetical conversation with a chatbot on a website.

The way you talk differs even when you get past the bot and reach a live human. Instead of providing insightful advice or helpful information, the chatbot's agent often assists with a problem. We expect dialogues and information exchange via text messages to help us become better versions of ourselves, not only to solve problems.

Easy Communication with Clients

Following the previous point, you can manage everything in a single place, responding to inquiries, closing deals by SMS, or passing correspondence to your support email. So, ecommerce SMS is more than a chatbot. It is a robust marketing solution that enables SMS conversations. It solves issues, fosters loyalty, and increases sales.

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Phone receiving chats

More Information about the Customers

With each encounter, you collect useful client information that can be utilized to boost the efficiency of your marketing initiatives. Customers can be reminded about items they expressed interest in or sales they viewed that are about to finish. You gradually get to understand the brands and categories that each member prefers, allowing you to offer the items that are more pertinent to them.

The SMS Marketing Setup Process

Setting up SMS marketing for ecommerce involves several steps. Here's a general guide to help you get started:

Define Your Goals

Clearly define your objectives for SMS marketing. Examples include increasing sales, driving website traffic, promoting new products, or boosting customer engagement. It will determine what kind of content you'll focus on.

Build Subscriber List

Your success with SMS marketing directly depends on expanding your text marketing list. There are several options available, which is fantastic news. You may first add a phone number box to any email forms or pop-ups on your website.

Another option is a "text-to-join" phone number collection. To subscribe to future communications, users must text a word or phrase known as a "keyword" to your phone number.

Choose a Platform

There are multiple aspects to take into account when picking an SMS marketing platform to make sure you make the best choice for your company's needs. Here are some crucial things to remember:

  • Features and functionality: Consider if the features provided by various SMS marketing systems meet your needs. Typical features include contact management, message personalization, automated campaigns, analytics, and integration possibilities.
  • Scalability: Take the platform's capacity for growth into account. Make sure it can accommodate your present SMS marketing requirements and that it can develop with your company as your subscriber list grows.
  • Deliverability and Reliability: Seek out a platform with a proven track record of offering dependable message delivery and high deliverability rates. To ensure your messages are delivered regularly, look for features like message queueing, backup choices, and associations with trustworthy telecom providers.
  • User-Friendliness: Take into account the platform's interface and usability. A user-friendly interface may save time and effort when planning and administering SMS campaigns.
  • Integrations: Examine the platform's integration capabilities with other tools and systems you employ, such as email marketing tools, ecommerce platforms, and customer relationship management software.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Data analysis is necessary for successful SMS marketing. To evaluate campaign performance, gauge engagement, and make data-driven choices, look for a platform that has powerful analytics and reporting features.
  • Pricing and Cost: Examine the pricing policies of various platforms and consider your budget. While some platforms have set monthly rates or provide tiered pricing depending on member counts, others charge based on the message volume.
  • Customer Assistance: Take into account the platform's degree of customer assistance. To help you in case of any problems or inquiries, ensure they have responsive and competent support methods, such as email or live chat.
Phone receiving messages

Segment Your Audience

Divide your subscriber list into parts based on factors like customer preferences, purchasing history, or demographics. This makes delivering individualized and targeted SMS messages possible, boosting efficiency. Here's how you can do it:

  • Obtain Customer Information: Gather pertinent information about your customers through surveys or questionnaires and from current sources. The following are some crucial data elements for segmentation: demographics, purchasing patterns, degrees of participation, preferences, and interests.
  • Analyze and Spot Patterns: Look for similarities in your gathered data. Look for characteristics that set your audience apart and reveal information about their tendencies, requirements, and preferences. You could discover, for instance, that clients from a particular area have different interests or that a specific age group responds better to various offers.
  • Unique Audience Segments: Create unique audience segments that represent various client profiles based on the insights you learned from your data study. Each segment needs to have traits or tendencies that set it apart as a target market. Consider categories like "loyal customers," "new customers," "high-value customers," or geographic location-based segments.

Craft Compelling Messages

Your message should begin with a strong hook to immediately capture the reader's attention. It may be a provocative query, a strong claim, or an alluring proposition. To demonstrate that you regard the recipient's uniqueness, mention prior contacts or use the recipient's name.

You may encourage quick action by establishing a sense of urgency in your message. To encourage recipients to act quickly, emphasize time-limited offers, special discounts, or approaching deadlines.

Offer your audience something worthwhile. It may be a deal, a gift, exclusive content, or insider knowledge. Ensure that the value is clear and appealing.

Pick phrases that stir feelings and motivate action. To generate excitement, emphasize advantages, highlight special selling factors, and utilize powerful verbs.

Monitor and Analyze the Results

Monitor the effectiveness of your SMS marketing efforts regularly. Consider open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. Make use of this information to improve your future campaigns and strategy.

Comply with Regulations

Make sure that your SMS marketing efforts follow all applicable regulations, including those pertaining to gaining consent and offering clear opt-out instructions. (See more information on compliance here.)

Happy woman on phone

Integrate with Your Ecommerce Platform

If possible, integrate SMS marketing with your ecommerce platform. With the help of this connection, you can automate SMS alerts for order confirmations, shipment status updates, and customized recommendations depending on client behavior.

Connect SMS Marketing with other Channels

A comprehensive marketing strategy that enhances the reach and influence of your campaigns may be developed by integrating SMS marketing with other media. We’ve already mentioned the integrations with websites. Here are some strategies for integrating SMS marketing with other platforms:

  • Use SMS opt-ins and reminders in your email campaigns. Encourage customers to opt-in to receive SMS updates or special offers by asking for their phone numbers.
  • Share your SMS opt-in keyword and short code on social media channels to promote your SMS marketing. Encourage followers to sign up for SMS notifications to gain unique information, discounts, or early access to promotions.
  • Include SMS capabilities in your mobile app if you have one. Allow consumers to sign up for SMS alerts and updates right from the app. For instance, you could send push notifications to inform consumers about new SMS-only deals or deadline-based promotions.
  • Cross-promote your SMS campaigns. For instance, include SMS opt-in prompts to your social network accounts, business cards, email signatures, and physical marketing materials like flyers. Emphasize the advantages of receiving your SMS notifications by using these touchpoints.
  • Automating processes and integrating your SMS marketing platform with CRMs are two examples of automation and workflows. This enables you to send SMS messages in response to particular behaviors or occurrences, such as abandoned shopping carts, successful transactions, or significant points in customer journeys.
  • Use SMS marketing in conjunction with offline media such as print advertisements, billboards, or TV/radio advertising. Include information about your SMS opt-in in these materials and encourage visitors to text a keyword to a short number to obtain exclusive deals or updates.

Final Word

In conclusion, SMS marketing and ecommerce messaging have a significant impact on increasing online sales. Businesses must modify their marketing strategy to reach and engage their target audience as consumers grow more mobile-centric and connected. By sending timely and pertinent messages right to clients' mobile devices, SMS marketing gives a direct and personal approach to communicating with them.

Businesses may use SMS marketing to enhance consumer engagement, boost conversions, and eventually increase online sales. SMS messages are the perfect way to distribute tailored suggestions, time-sensitive promotions, and exclusive deals due to their high open and response rates.

SMS marketing allows them to segment and target certain client groups based on demographics, buy history, or behavior. Hence, businesses may customize their messaging to ensure it resonates with the appropriate audience at the right time. In addition to improving the customer experience, this degree of personalization additionally fosters loyalty and trust, resulting in higher customer retention.

While SMS marketing has great potential to increase online sales, it must be used carefully and follow all applicable regulations and industry standards. Follow the tips in this guide to help you use ecommerce texting in the best possible way.

Some links may have been added by the editor.

About the Author

Kate Parish

Kate Parish headshot

Kate Parish is a chief marketing officer at Onilab. She has almost a decade of experience in the company and is still enthusiastic about every aspect of digital marketing. Kate sees the marketing mission in ensuring sustainable business growth. For this purpose, she helps companies and readers create efficient campaigns, solve common problems, and enhance crucial website metrics, such as conversions, bounce rates, and others.

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