How to Use Text Messaging for E-Commerce

May 6, 2017 by Alexa Lemzy, TextMagic
How to Use Text Messaging for E-commerce
Posted May 6, 2017 by Alexa Lemzy, TextMagic

Text is a useful tool for e-commerce businesses to reach out to their customers. With 95 percent of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind and 77 percent owning a smartphone, text is one of the most practical ways to reach customers where they are.

Especially when you consider that 61 percent of consumers check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning.

By Blindfold on Jul 1, 2015

By Blindfold on Jul 1, 2015

Online businesses like retailers and travel companies can use SMS messages for a variety of purposes, like advertising promotions, sending alerts, and offering customer support. E-commerce retailers who engage customers through SMS loyalty clubs have the edge over businesses who don’t.

In fact, 71 percent of e-commerce businesses fail to use customer communication preferences to their advantage while 77 percent of consumers have a positive image of businesses who use text.

well-aimed SMS campaign that offers more of what customers want (personalized promotions and great sales) can help build customer loyalty, resulting in happier customers and higher revenues for your e-commerce business.

Actually, customers are up to eight times more likely to respond to a call-to-action sent in a text message than they are to respond to one sent through email.

Here are some examples of how e-commerce retailers can use text to improve their business.

Customer Service Magic Wand

SMS is a simple tool that can make a difference to your customer service. People are used to opening and reading texts immediately. So your clients will appreciate the following messages:

Customer service responses

Text is a very popular form of communication and businesses who offer it as an alternative to email and phone calls are having positive responses. Customers can choose SMS as a preferable method of contact for customer support issues.

Music store Bohemian Guitars added an SMS customer and sales support feature that allowed customers who started a live chat on their website to then text a representative at their store. Customers clearly preferred texting to live chat.

In fact, this omnichannel integration using SMS helped boost their sales by 98 percent over a six-month period.

Reminders about the unfinished orders

Sometimes a customer just needs that little push to get them to click through and purchase the items they left behind on your website’s shopping cart. A friendly SMS message offering a discount on the items in their shopping cart can be just the push they need.

Notifications

Besides being an ideal way for online businesses to alert customers of package deliveries and possible arrival dates, text messaging can be helpful for creating an omnichannel experience when online and offline are combined.

American Eagle Outfitters runs a campaign called Reserve, Try and Buy and let customers view products on their site or app, and then reserve a particular item to try at the nearest brick-and-mortar store. If customers opted in, they receive order confirmation texts to acknowledge the availability of the product at the local store.

Account updates

Security of your customers’ data should always be a priority, and your clients would appreciate receiving immediate alerts about a change of your personal details or a suspected account breach. Simply text them and let them know what steps to take to prevent their account from being accessed by an unauthorized third party.

Time-Sensitive Promotions

Send special offers, coupons, and discount codes via text messaging. It’s especially effective for short-term promo activities. We all know how frustrating it could be to see the email with a relevant promo that ended just an hour ago.

Again, American Eagle Outfitters texts customers about holiday or flash sales to make sure they get the word out to customers in time for them to participate in the sale. Including a promo code can also help you find out how many recipients participated in the sale so you can continue to hone your SMS advertising strategies.

Enhancing Loyalty

As you collect data about your customers, make sure you take advantage of that. Birthday gifts, notifications about the products they were looking for recently, limited edition giveaways, your name it  you can come up with various ways to delight your customers and use SMS to deliver the message right away.

Ace Hardware allows their SMS loyalty program members to save offers to redeem at a later time. While many other businesses have strict expiration dates on their promotions, Ace Hardware’s SMS club shows that they care about pleasing the customer by allowing them to take advantage of sales and offers when it’s most convenient to the customer.

Conducting Surveys

You can text a link to your online survey or share a short question for clients to answer. The value of customers’ feedback is hard to underestimate, but that’s not so easy to collect such feedback. Why not add one more channel to your arsenal?

If you’re planning to introduce a new product line or want to know if your customers prefer fast shipping over free shipping, an SMS poll can help you find out what’s on your customer’s minds. When it comes to your millennial customers, 75 percent of them prefer to receive surveys via text.

How to Get Started with Text Messaging for E-Commerce Stores

If you would like to try text messaging, you would need to choose an SMS service that allows you to send and schedule multiple personalized messages to your customers from your email or web software installed on your desktop. For example, you decided to use TextMagic software:

Web app — After you registered an account, just log in and start using the tool online. You can upload your customers’ phone numbers and segment them into different lists in your account. Then create personalized templates for your SMS campaigns and send/schedule the messages.

Web app

Email to SMS API — This option is great for sending time-sensitive messages like order confirmations and various notifications. Simply add your email to the allowed list in your account and send start sending emails to phonenumber@textmagic.com addresses.

TextMagic will convert your email into text message and deliver it to your customer’s mobile. No programming is needed.

Zaps — You can also take advantage of TextMagic’s integration with Zapier. Let’s assume you gather customer feedback via Typeform. Now you can send them a “Thank you” SMS or text them a special promo offer right after they replied to your question(s).

Zap

Text messaging is a great tool underestimated by many e-commerce stores. Businesses who aren’t using SMS to reach their clients are losing out on the opportunity to offer promotions, alerts, and customer support on the most immediate channel that all customers use.

About The Author
Alexa Lemzy is the customer service manager and blog editor at TextMagic. She is passionate about all things mobile, customer loyalty, and business growth. You can follow Alexa on Twitter.

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