Despite the fact that almost all consumers today carry cell phones, the use of text messaging as a marketing and communications channel by eCommerce brands today is not widespread. But according to Statista.com, there were 4.77 billion cell phone subscribers at the end of 2017. This creates an opportunity for online stores to take an underused channel and create a unique and personalized experience for their customers and stand out from the competition.
Why Text Messaging?
eCommerce text messaging can be an essential communication channel for your business because your customers have their mobile phones with them throughout the day. And of course they’re spending more time each year shopping on their phones too. It is the ideal way for both promoting your products and keeping your customers up to date.
According to Shift Communications, 82 percent of US smartphone owners read every text message they receive. Even more importantly, customers 6-8 time more likely to respond to a text than an email and the click-through rate for text messages is also much higher than email.
A strategic eCommerce text messaging campaign should be personalized and offer your customers something of value. Using incentives like personalized promotions, contests, and loyalty rewards will help build up your brand loyalty and give you happier customers, which in turn helps you grow your revenue.
How to Maximize the Potential of Text Messaging
Text messaging is more than just a marketing tool. It is a way to keep in constant communication with your customers. More open and direct lines of communication make it easier for your customers to engage with your brand.
eCommerce businesses can use text messaging for:
Abandoned Cart Campaigns
A customer might need an extra push to finish their order online. You can notify a customer via a text message about items left in their shopping cart and possibly a discount to entice them to complete the sale.
Notifying Customers about Important Events/ Milestones
Not only can you use texting to alert customers about their upcoming package deliveries, arrival dates, and order status, but you can also use eCommerce text messaging to notify customers about future opportunities. Even better, you might utilize text messaging platforms to give recipients a first look at new products and discounts for ordering.
If you also have an online and brick-and-mortar presence, you might want to update local customers about store hours, in-store specials, and business news. With text messaging, you can instantly text your clients to let them know about coupons, holiday gift ideas, and more.
Sending Account Updates
Customers like to stay informed about their accounts because they contain sensitive information such as address, name, credit card information, billing address, etc. You can use eCommerce text messaging to notify customers of any password changes, suspected breaches, or unusual login attempts.
Introducing Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are an excellent way to keep customers interested in your brand. When customers believe that their purchases are noticed, they are more likely to buy again. Use texting to notify customers about anniversary coupons or birthday specials.
Offer them first access to limited edition giveaways, remind them about expiring loyalty points, and encourage them to shop with you over the competition.
Sharing Special Offers, Coupons, and Promotions
Use text messages to send discount codes, one-time-use coupons, and special offers directly to customers along with a link to click and start shopping. This makes sense even more when you know that customers are 10 times more likely to redeem mobile coupons than traditional ones.
Short-term promotions might have a better outcome with texting too because customers are instantly notified about these short-term sales and have time to act – instead of sifting through endless emails a few days later.
Promote Surveys to Learn from your Customers
You can only improve if you know how your customers rate their experiences with your business. Send a text message with a link to an online survey, and give customers an opportunity to share their feedback. You can even offer a discount coupon to encourage them to take part in the survey.
According to research from the American Trends Panel through the Pew Research Group, when surveys and reminders are sent via text messaging and email, 9 percentage points more respondents finish surveys within the first 10 days than when surveys and reminders are sent only via email.
Sending Customer Service Communications
Imagine being able to provide your customers with access to a customer service team member. According to John Huehn, CEO of In The Chat, ‘When you ask smartphone users if they would rather call or text a company for customer service, the answer will almost always be text.’
Individuals who prefer text messaging over email can text customer service and inquire about orders, file complaints, and resolve issues quickly.
Get More Out of Texting by Personalizing Your Messages
While there are numerous ways to use eCommerce text messaging and many benefits to explore, most eCommerce marketing tactics lack personal connection, and this can drive consumers toward local suppliers. You want to use your texts to connect with customers and make sure they have a positive experience.
Here are a few more ways you can personalize the texting experience and get more from your campaign:
- Send a personalized message based on history. Use your customer’s shopping and browsing history to send a marketing message unique to them. For example, your customer ordered a book on yoga. You can follow up by suggesting yoga accessories, such as a mat, clothes, and CDs.
- Send helpful tips to customers. Your text messages do not need to focus on only selling. You can also share relevant information with customers so that you can improve their experiences with your company. For example, help your customer take care of the product they recently purchased from you and maximize their use out of that item.
- Request feedback from your customers. Ask your customers for feedback, and see if they were happy with the service they received from your company.
If you run an online store, eCommerce text messaging can often be a better way to connect with and support your customers. If you’re not using it today, why not consider trying out this direct and personal marketing channel to see if you can make your customers happier and grow your business.