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Ecommerce businesses are on the rise, and their profitability has increased a lot in the recent period. People are able to browse various products without wasting any time getting to a certain location.
Of course, for an ecommerce brand to rise and become popular and reputable, it needs to advertise itself. That is what we are going to talk about in this article. We will be looking at SMS marketing for ecommerce - a method that proved to be quite effective for attracting new customers and turning the existing ones into loyal ones.
Marketing Challenges for Ecommerce
The proper SMS marketing strategy can do ecommerce brands wonders. However, executing this strategy might not be as easy as it seems. Of course, there are a few marketing challenges for ecommerce.
In order to be successful in this business, each ecommerce business needs to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead when they decide to launch campaigns with SMS messages and any other method for that matter.
Products Can Be Hard to Advertise
As you may know by now, ecommerce sites feature all types of products. People can create their products and list them on an ecommerce brand's website. While this makes it easy to have a diverse offering, the products may be hard to advertise, and here's why.
The ecommerce site cannot guarantee the quality and durability of those products. Of course, the price may be an indicator, but sometimes, it is hard to launch SMS marketing campaigns for products that even you, the ecommerce site, are not familiar with.
When SMS subscribers leave their private information online, they might be concerned that they are not safe. After all, scams are one of the biggest issues facing the Internet.
One research in 2020 showed that 38% of all scams reported on a global level were tied to online purchases/ecommerce businesses. So, you must acknowledge that consumers will likely think twice before engaging with the business.
Hence, the brand must ensure that it informs its customers about its safety. That way, customers will be happy to leave private information, including phone numbers, which you can use to launch marketing campaigns.
The Thought of Spamming
This is a challenge that many SMS campaigns are facing. Whenever you ask for the customer's phone number, the customer might think you will be spamming them with constant messages. So, you must tell them you will not send SMS marketing messages too often.
Set a system in which customers can choose the messages they want to receive. Some would like to receive transactional messages, and some would like to keep up with promotional campaigns, etc.
Useful Text Marketing Features for Ecommerce
There are many ways ecommerce businesses can engage with their SMS subscribers and achieve their goals. In this section, we wanted to focus on a few important and useful text message marketing features for ecommerce that proved to be quite useful.
Address Customers Personally
An SMS strategy aims to make customers feel like you are speaking directly to them. So, instead of using catchphrases such as "dear customer" or "dear Mr/Mrs," address them personally. Include their name at the start of the sentence.
Use an SMS Software
You should always consider using a reputable company, such as Textback.ai, to help you with your SMS marketing for ecommerce. They specialize in sending professional text messages and will definitely help you increase loyalty and sales.
CTA At The End
Of course, all marketing text messages aim to force some type of reaction. In other words, you want to motivate customers to purchase a product, subscribe to your SMS list, etc. So you should always have a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the end.
How to Get Started with Ecommerce SMS Marketing
Getting started with ecommerce text messages is not too hard. However, it includes a lot of planning and research. You cannot just sail out to the unknown and expect the best results.
Define Your Goals
The first thing you need to do when creating an SMS marketing platform that will be used for ecommerce SMS marketing is to define your goals. Is the goal to reach new customers or turn the ones you already gained into loyal ones?
Do you want to target older or younger customers? Which region/country do you want to target? What are you planning to achieve with an SMS marketing campaign? All of these questions need answering, and that is exactly what you should do first.
Partner with a Solid Text Message Marketing Provider
After you've defined the goals, it is time to partner with a reputable provider that knows its way with SMS marketing messages. Do your research and don't just pick the first reputable platform. You need to consider your personal preferences as they can make a lot of difference.
Launch Your Campaign
After you've defined your goals and partnered with a provider that fits your preferences, it is time to launch your campaign. The provider will create ecommerce text message templates, and you can choose one that you think will have the highest success rate.
Launch your campaign and stay on top of the process all the time. In the end, ensure that you consider the results and measure them.
Example Texts for Ecommerce SMS Marketing & Communication
By now, you must've figured that there are numerous types of text messages that ecommerce businesses use as SMS marketing strategies. All of those types have a simple goal: turn existing customers into loyal ones while also attracting new customers to the platform.
The first example concerns transactional messages. Some ecommerce sites provide SMS subscribers with transactional texts after they make a purchase. The text should be like this:
- Dear [NAME], thank you for purchasing at our store. Your cart total is [PRICE-OF-THE PRODUCTS]. Your order will be delivered in the next [DAY] business days and if you have any issues, feel free to contact us.
Of course, one of the main reasons why text message marketing campaigns are launched is to provide customers with various promotions or one-time deals. Promotional messages look similar to the following example:
- Use this one-time offer and get 30% off on [PRODUCT-NAME]. The offer is valid until [date], and to use this promotion, enter the bonus code [CODE]. Explore other products that are under a discount at [LINK].
Finally, ecommerce brands can greet new customers on their mobile devices by sending a welcome text message. That way, they make them feel like they are part of the family. Welcome SMS messages should be like this:
- Dear [NAME]. Welcome to [BRAND-NAME]. Reply "Yes" if you wish to receive recurring automated marketing messages and be provided with the latest discounts and new products. If you wish to opt-out of text message campaigns, reply "No."
Turn Customers Into Subscribers with Ecommerce SMS Solutions
When ecommerce brands launch text message campaigns, they need to make sure that they are not spamming or boring people with silly texts. A perfect SMS strategy can do wonders, but only if executed correctly. So, they should keep a few things in mind if they want to turn customers into subscribers with SMS marketing for ecommerce.
First, offering promotional packages that can be used only by receiving SMS marketing messages is valuable. That way, ecommerce sites will give customers a reason why they should leave their phone numbers and opt-in to receive texts.
SMS messages should be short and concise. They shouldn't have filtered data. After all, statistics show that there are 6.6 billion active mobile phones in the world today. That means that a lot of people like to use their devices.
Finally, if you are running an ecommerce site, ensure that you pay attention to the details. Send personalized messages, birthday messages, unique offers for certain customers, etc. These strategies will definitely turn them into loyal subscribers.
How Ecommerce SMS Marketing Blends With Other Marketing Strategies?
Text messages as a marketing strategy blend quite nicely with other marketing strategies. Let's take email marketing as an example. Both types of advertising allow ecommerce sites to communicate and connect with their customers.
Both types are also effective reasons that every person has an email account and owns a phone. One of the main goals in marketing is to establish communication, and that is what a decent SMS strategy, and every other strategy for that matter, can achieve.
Research shows that the open rate of text messages is far greater than emails. In fact, the text messaging open rate is a staggering 98%, compared to email marketing, which is around 20%. As you can see, you might actually have greater success if you send marketing messages to your customers rather than emails.
Before You Begin with Ecommerce SMS
Before developing an SMS marketing strategy and launching a campaign, you must make sure you have a plan. In other words, define your goals and find a reputable SMS marketing software.
Good software will help you launch effective SMS campaigns and thus, increase the chances of success. In defining your goals, you should consider a few things such as target age, region, types of messages you want to send, etc.
SMS marketing for ecommerce has become extremely popular since it has plenty of benefits. Here is a brief breakdown of all the advantages you will receive by using SMS messages as a marketing strategy for ecommerce.
Increased Customer Loyalty
The first benefit of applying a certain ecommerce marketing strategy is that it leads to increased customer loyalty. Once customers provide you with their phone numbers, they will receive SMS messages on their mobile devices.
It is a major benefit if these messages are personalized, or in other words, companies ought to use the names of their customers. The more personalized the ecommerce texting messages are, the more important the customers will feel.
Increased customer loyalty always leads to better engagement. One of the main ways through which a company can grow is to increase its brand engagement with its customers. In doing so, customers will feel closer to the company.
Thanks to ecommerce text message marketing, that is precisely what you are going to achieve. Once they receive an update, SMS subscribers will be sure to check what the latest development is and that drives the engagement.
One interesting statistic concerning text messaging is that 66% of consumers prefer text messages to have a conversation with a certain business, which in this case, is an ecommerce platform. Conversational interaction leads to higher customer satisfaction, exactly what ecommerce businesses are looking to achieve.
SMS Marketing Ecommerce Best Practices
There isn't just one marketing SMS service for ecommerce that will help you achieve the greatest results. On the other hand, no practice can guarantee success, but a couple of practices will increase the chances of a successful campaign for your ecommerce business. Below, we've listed a few of those practices.
Keep the Messages Short
Let's get one thing straight. Customers don't want you to bother them all the time. Yes, they want to keep up with the latest updates since they've given you their phone numbers, but that doesn't mean you should nag them all the time.
Not only that, but you shouldn't explain yourself too much when sending text messages. Hence, make sure you keep things short and straight to the point. If they want extra information, they can always ask for it. The point is to capture their attention and drive engagement.
Personalize Messages According to Your SMS Subscribers
Many companies start their SMS for ecommerce with words similar to "Dear Customer." Although this is not wrong, it is way less efficient than personalizing your text message. Make sure to add the name of your SMS subscribers at the beginning of each text message. Add a few more elements to make sure that the texts are personalized.
That way, you will make the customers feel more important to the ecommerce platform, and achieve greater success and possibly, turn the customers into loyal ones.
Logically, when sending marketing messages, you want to offer something valuable to your customers. Don't bore them; offer time-sensitive deals, unique promotions, valuable information concerning events, introduce new products that fit their personal preferences, etc.
Allow Customers to Opt-Out from Receiving Messages
Some customers might not be the biggest fans of marketing messages. They might not want to receive any promotional texts, so make sure you allow them to opt out of receiving SMS messages tied to marketing campaigns. It's much better to lose an SMS subscriber than the customer itself.
How Do Big Ecommerce Companies Use SMS Marketing? Let's See Their Experience
The reality is that SMS marketing proved to be extremely successful. That is why many ecommerce brands use SMS marketing campaigns to drive customer loyalty and attract new users to their sites.
One of those brands is JUDY, an ecommerce brand that provides its customers with educational content and recommendations via its SMS channel to ensure that customers are in step with the latest developments. Customers can also opt-in for text messages when there's emergency information they ought to know.
Next up, we have Hydrant, which allows its customers to receive a text message when it is time for them to reorder. Good Counsel sends personalized recommendations for its products, and Super Coffee uses text messaging to offer its customers various discounts and special offers.
How Does SMS Marketing Impact User Experience in an Ecommerce?
There's no denying that SMS marketing impacts the user experience in ecommerce. First of all, thanks to promotional campaigns and discounts, you will make customers feel far more important and thus, increase loyalty.
Not only that, but by utilizing SMS marketing automation for purchases and reminders, you will simplify the shopping experience for customers. Instead of doing the hard work by themselves, you allow customers to prioritize other stuff and rely on you to take care of other things. Finally, by offering special discounts via SMS, users gain a lot of flexibility and accessibility to the offers. They will be able to stay updated at any time and any place.
Winning Strategies in Ecommerce SMS Marketing Campaigns
SMS marketing strategies should be formed according to your goals. However, there are a couple of "winning strategies" in the ecommerce industry, and we are more than happy to share a few of them. Let's check them out.
Referral Programs May Lead to More Phone Numbers
If you want to gain more phone numbers that you can use to launch an SMS campaign, then launching a referral program may do the job. The goal here is simple - ask your existing customers to refer their friends to your platform and reward them for doing so. Their friends will provide you with their mobile phones, and you can use them for future campaigns.
SMS Giveaways Are Always a Winning Strategy
Who doesn't like free rewards? If you launch an SMS giveaway, you will definitely increase engagement, and in doing so, you will give your customers the feeling that they haven't provided you with their phone number for nothing. Make sure it is not too hard for them to receive the rewards.
Discounts for Cart Abandoning
Sometimes, customers might fill up their cart just to see that the price is too high for their standards. So, they will likely quit the process of buying. If they do so, make sure you use an SMS channel through which you will provide them with a discount on the cart. That way, you may gain them back and increase ecommerce sales.
Automated Customer Messages
Finally, one good way to increase loyalty and make sure that you make customers feel like they are important to your ecommerce business is to send recurring automated marketing messages.
Here's an example. Let's say a customer orders a product from your platform and pays for it. You can send automated text messages confirming the order and give extra details regarding the shipping period, price, etc.
Don't Forget to Measure the Performance of SMS Marketing in Your Sales and Conversion
Each marketing campaign, whether SMS marketing ecommerce or other practice, consists of three important steps. They are planning, executing and measuring the results. During the initial phase, an ecommerce platform comes up with a certain SMS marketing strategy and studies the channels through which the strategy will be implemented.
Then, the company executes the strategy to achieve growth and increase the number of customers. However, if you think that this is where it ends, you are mistaken. The final part of the process, measuring the results, is equally as important as the other two.
All text message marketing ecommerce campaigns can be successful or unsuccessful. Regardless of the outcome, they will provide you with a pretty clear image of conversion rates.
Additionally, they will give you an idea of your platform's biggest strengths and weaknesses. After a careful analysis, you can conclude which sectors need improving and which had the biggest success.
A SWOT Analysis May Do The Job
A SWOT analysis is one of the oldest and most effective tools for measuring the results of any marketing campaign, including SMS marketing for ecommerce. SWOT is an abbreviation, and it stands for:
- S - Strengths
- W - Weaknesses
- O - Opportunity
- T - Threats
As the letters suggest, the SWOT analysis allows you to list all of the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the ecommerce SMS marketing campaign. Not only that, but it will give you a list of rising sections that have tremendous opportunities to succeed in the near future. Lastly, you may be able to analyze the threats that lie ahead and, thus, act in time to ensure that you are not in danger.
SMS Marketing for Ecommerce Statistics
If you still think that SMS marketing is not as effective as other forms, such as email marketing, we are more than happy to provide you with a few statistics that will help you change your mind.
Consumer Reports state that 51% of consumers are likely to purchase if they receive a text message with straightforward media and images. Additionally, 33% of them stated that if the ad is relevant, they don't care if they receive an SMS or MMS.
According to customers, the most valuable texts are a reminder of an appointment (64%), update on delivery/shipment (48%), discount or special offers (29%) and alerts to refill a prescription (29%).
Finally, the average open rate of text messages is 98%. Email marketing's open rate is 20%, and the average click-through rate for SMS marketing is 19.3%.
Is SMS marketing for ecommerce effective?
SMS marketing for ecommerce is extremely effective, but only if it's executed well. That is why all ecommerce brands must ensure they come up with the right SMS marketing campaigns and measure their results. In doing so, they will be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of their campaigns.
Is SMS marketing measurable in ecommerce?
Just like any other marketing strategy and campaign, SMS campaigns are measurable, and ecommerce brands need to measure their results if they want to improve in the future. They can keep existing customers and drive new ones to their platforms by measuring results.
What is the best strategy for ecommerce SMS marketing?
The reality is that the term "best strategy" really depends on your goals. The first thing you should do before you send marketing messages to the customer's phone number is to define your goals and create and execute a marketing strategy.
Do big ecommerce companies use SMS marketing?
Yes, SMS marketing is a rather new practice in the ecommerce industry. Many brands have seen that it can be extremely successful in having customer engagement. That is why many reputable ecommerce brands use an SMS marketing team to send messages regarding various promotions.
How to choose an ecommerce SMS service provider?
The first thing that you should do when choosing an ecommerce SMS service provider is to review their services, costs, reputation, success stories, etc. If they check out, you can proceed to enter your personal preferences into the mix. Once you find a provider that matches your preferences, you can partner and execute a certain campaign.
More reading about SMS marketing:
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