The SMS Marketing Trends to Watch in eCommerce
As tech trends move towards customer demand and the adoption of an omnichannel experience, the technology consumers use to move through the buying journey becomes quicker, less intrusive, and is most likely done from a mobile device.
So much of our lives pass through a mobile device; think of all the business you transact on your phone over the course of a day, let alone the conversations you have over apps or SMS texting.
Retailers and service providers are paying attention to that behavior and are eager to create commerce experiences that align with how the average consumer goes about their day - without the need for extra steps, or a method outside of what is considered comfortable. Think about how fast text messages are read: 90% of text messages are read within 180 seconds. Talk about a captive audience.
In this blog, you will learn what SMS text messaging for eCommerce looks like, and the top reasons why brands should be using, or at least exploring, their role in the buying journey. Keep reading to learn all about the latest SMS marketing trends that could take your eCommerce strategy above and beyond.
SMS Marketing Trends to Get On Board With:
SMS texts fulfill may different use cases. They can be used in many different areas of your eCommerce strategy, such as to:
- Remind a customer to make a payment
- Alert for when an order is ready for pickup
- Notification of when new inventory is available
- Offer special discount codes or coupons
- Follow up on a customers cart
Let’s dig a bit further into the latest SMS trends we’re seeing in eCommerce to better understand how you can adjust your strategy and take advantage of these use cases.
1. SMS Texts Reduce Cart Abandonment
When looking at a distinct number to equate with cart abandonment rates you may see a range of numbers from as low as 50% to as high as 90% based on product or industry. Regardless of where the numbers fall, cart abandonment is a major roadblock for most retailers.
Consider what a simple SMS text (and offer) can do to mitigate the issue. Here’s an example:
Notice the tone is casual given the medium, and they’ve offered Mike a code for 10% off if he completes the purchase within one day.
2. Send Payment Confirmation
For this example, notice how the template is set up for personalization. Of course it makes sense to provide the item, order number, and amount, but a field for first name personalization avoids any confusion from the shopper and adds a personal touch to capture their attention.
3. Alert Customers to New Inventory
New stock is always something to talk about. If your customer is on a waiting list for a particular item, text is an easy alert with a call to action. Taking this a step further, you could create a promotion for your loyalty customers on new items, and use a text message with a link to send them straight to a customized landing page that gets them browsing (and buying) immediately.
4. Use SMS to Request Payment
Here’s an example of a lender requesting payment via text. The instructions are clear with options to pay by phone or pay via text. Some companies may also provide a link within a text to a payment page.
5. Facilitate Customer Service Conversations
Most shoppers today don’t want the hassle of having to call an 800 number for service. While a chat bot helps in these instances, you may use text for order detail clarification. Here’s an example of a text conversation I had with a customer service rep from an eyewear company:
Notice in the conversation how the rep said the question was also sent via email. This is a great example of reaching your customer in ways they feel most comfortable. Since eyewear needs to be precise with prescriptions, measurements, and add-ons, the company wants to clarify any information or fill in the blanks on necessary requirements. They also took the time to make a recommendation for my lenses which I appreciated given I have a strong prescription. I can personally attest the order came in perfect condition, just as I ordered.
What Are the Benefits of SMS Text in eCommerce?
Now that you’ve seen a few examples, what are the benefits of using text in your eCommerce platform?
- In a world of instant gratification lovers, your brand will be a star. Make the most of the anticipation and use text messages to provide delivery updates.
- Find and engage with new customers with an opt-in text message. It’s also a great way to engage with loyalty customers when offering exclusive deals or events.
- Cut long call center queue wait times by providing help via text.
- Boost sales when facing cart abandonment issues, or use it as a tool to back a deep deal with urgency.
A Few Tips to Consider:
Remember to always get consent before engaging with any customer over text. It may be a service agreement check box or an opt-in message. With so many mobile packages on the market, you want to make sure your customer agrees to the messaging, especially if it may cost them in the end on their plan.
If you are operating in the U.S. you also must follow guidelines from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that requires businesses to obtain consent before sending any text messages, provide a disclosure with the scope of the messages (what you will be communicating via text), and include an opt-out clause. If you don’t comply with these guidelines you risk fines. Always check for guidelines affecting the country or region you are doing business in as rules can change.
When is the best time to send marketing text messages? That depends on where you are and what you’re sending:
- Under TCPA U.S guidelines, businesses may text consumers between the hours of 8 AM and 9PM, or what are considered normal business hours.
- For promotional texts, it’s common courtesy to send them within normal business hours on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Avoid Mondays and Fridays since they are close to the weekend.
- Give a fair amount of leeway for targeted sales and events. For a Saturday sale, try to text as early as Thursday but not as late as Saturday morning.
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