How to Utilize SMS to Maximize eCommerce Sales
Over half of Americans are obsessed with their cell phones. One surprising survey revealed that 71% of cellphone users spend more time with their phones than with their romantic partners. That statistic may not bode well for romance, but it’s an excellent opportunity for eCommerce marketers to get intimately acquainted with their shoppers via SMS marketing.
We’ll find out why texting should play a vital role for every eCommerce retailer.
What is SMS Marketing?
Also called mobile text messaging, SMS (Short Message Service) is a vital direct link from your brand directly to your customers. It’s another useful marketing tool you can use to send relevant information and promotional content to subscribers or customers.
It’s not for cold calling. SMS marketing is permission-based, requiring users to opt-in to the service. It’s a great way to speak with your customers in a two-way conversation rather than talking at them like an ad. To learn more about the benefits of SMS marketing, check out this resource to learn why every eCommerce business should utilize SMS.
Does CAN-SPAM Apply to SMS?
Yes, the same CAN-SPAM rules for email also apply to SMS. Always get permission via an opt-in form. Text spammers can receive penalties of up to $46,517 per message, so make sure everyone has given their consent before you put them on your list.
How It Affects Your eCommerce Sales
Marketers know that higher open rates mean more conversions and sales. Average email open rates are around 20%, while SMS open rates can be above 90%. It’s easy to understand why. People rarely let their phones out of their sight… or their hands. They react almost immediately when the phone notifies them of an incoming message.
One retailer did a 24-hour test using email and SMS to promote a coupon. The result was that email generated $700 while SMS coupon redemptions generated $9,000. For an investment of $150, text message marketing returned an ROI of 5,900%!
SMS vs. Email: Which Channel Should You Use?
Email and SMS are effective means to communicate with customers in eCommerce marketing. One is not necessarily better than the other. Instead, they should complement each other to build customer loyalty and sales.
Emails are better for sending longer, richer messages that include images and attachments. Recipients can save them for a later date. Emails are best for promoting multiple products, company updates, or newsletters. To learn more about the benefits of eCommerce email marketing, check out this resource on increasing your eCommerce sales with email marketing.
SMS is the ideal communication channel for concise, time-sensitive information or promotions. They are valuable for immediate, two-way conversations or promoting a single product.
5 Best SMS Approaches To Increase Your eCommerce Sales
Only Add Subscribers Using Opt-in Permission
Getting subscribers to give their consent before you text them is good business practice and the law. We mentioned the CAN-SPAM act above, but there is also the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that allows someone to report spammers. Only message people interested in your offers or products to avoid that issue. Use incentivized pop-ups, fly-ins, or banner opt-in forms to get permission and build your list.
Welcome New Subscribers
Once your subscribers opt-in, demonstrate that the brand cares by sending a thank you and welcome message. A welcome series is a great opportunity to familiarize customers with your brand’s personality. Reward them with an exclusive deal or promo.
Send Order and Delivery Information
SMS is an excellent way to confirm orders and update customers about their delivery. Keeping them informed with real-time delivery status builds loyalty to your brand. Customers appreciate a brand that supports them from the moment they complete the purchase to when they receive the item.
Special Offers and News
Using SMS to promote a special offer or event gives customers a feeling of exclusivity. Whenever possible, create segments of your list so that you can cater to specific customers and send relevant personalized offers or information. Segmenting by time zone, shopping behavior, CLV, and other factors will increase your engagement and ROI.
Abandoned Cart Reminders
Shoppers are inundated with distractions, especially when trying to make a purchase using their phones. Sending abandoned cart reminders brings their attention back to shopping and completing the purchase before getting hit with the next distraction. Make it easy by adding a direct link to the cart or checkout.
Checkout through SMS is possible, but it depends on the eCommerce platform and SMS provider. There are two leaders in the SMS marketing industry, Yotpo SMSBump, and Klaviyo SMS.
Yotpo is designed for eCommerce, specifically for Shopify stores, SMSBump features built-in IP and phone number detection. Features of their platform include:
- Automated SMS segmentation by country, the price of SMS in a country, and the time of day
- Automatic compliance by country
- Dynamic abandoned cart messaging with images
- Dynamic personalized and time-sensitive coupon code feature
- Integrates with Swell, Yotpo’s loyalty and rewards program.
- Works with most eCommerce platforms and Email Service Providers
- Free trial
Klaviyo has introduced SMS and MMS marketing to enhance its email platform. Small eCommerce stores up to global enterprise-level accounts can utilize Klaviyo’s platform.
Features of their platform include:
- Built-in compliance
- A complimentary toll-free number
- A/B testing
- Automatic consent management
- Smart Sending, so people don’t receive irrelevant messages
- Help desk integration for a better customer experience
- Integrates with over 200 tools
- Complete personalization and segmentation
- Free up to 250 contacts
Marketers can manage SMS with automated flows such as welcome, order confirmation, shipping alerts, and follow-ups from a single dashboard.
Either of these robust SMS platforms can work for your eCommerce business. It’s a matter of preference. Take them for a test drive to see which one fits your needs.
Need More Information About SMS Marketing Strategy?
SMS marketing directly affects the bottom line by generating additional revenue with each campaign. It’s an excellent tactic to save abandoned carts, improve on-site conversion rates and retention rates.
If you need assistance choosing an SMS platform or getting started, contact our marketing team to get your brand up to speed.