Explore the steps in helping your e-commerce business stand out. From increasing sales to improving customer relations, make it possible with SMS messaging.
What E-Commerce Businesses Need to Know About SMS Notifications
Here in the U.S. people using smartphones receive, on average, 45.9 push notifications per day. That’s close to two “pings” on your phone every hour, every day. This perspective is important in understanding the competitive landscape your e-commerce business is faced with.
But competition shouldn’t scare you away from targeting a mobile audience. Because by reaching customers through SMS notifications versus in-app or device push notifications, you can establish a personal connection with your customer that rarely gets ignored.
Before we dig into how SMS notifications are an effective tool for e-commerce retailers, we want to touch on why we think we’re qualified to help you out. At SimpleTexting we work with thousands of e-commerce retailers around the world. Helping them craft messages with meaning is our mission. In such a busy world, we love the thought of slowing things down and connecting people with brands, large and small alike.
Texting is our way of forging bonds. With the right tools, we believe you’ll begin managing relationships with ease through SMS. But first, there’s an important question you must answer…
How do you know whether SMS text marketing is right for your business?
If you haven’t already, take a look at our comprehensive guide to SMS marketing solutions for e-commerce businesses. In it, we go over marketing challenges unique to your industry, useful SMS features for common pain points, as well as a few sample SMS campaigns.
While all of these suggestions and tips might sound great, how do you know if they’ll serve the needs of your customer? Ask yourself is any of these situations resonate with your business:
- You’re constantly answering the same FAQ’s
- You want to elevate your customer service experience
- You want to capture sales and reduce the number of abandoned carts
- You’re in need of a way to send information to customers in a timely and controlled manner
- You want to give people a new way for people to reach you offline
- You’re looking for a way to set yourself apart from other e-commerce sites
- You want to improve recruiting for your e-commerce platform
If you relate to one or more of these situations, SMS campaigns can help you break through the plateaus you’ve hit. Because we’re big believers in putting our 💵 where our 👄 is, we’ll break down exactly how texting addresses each of the pain points above.
How can you incorporate SMS notifications into your e-commerce business?
Before we break down the bullets points above, we want to provide you with a quick vocabulary lesson. We know you’re already familiar with SMS notifications. But as the World’s Greatest Manager Michael Scott once said, “Why don’t you explain it to me like I am an 8 year old?”
SMS notifications are text messages that are sent when an event occurs. An event, in this case, can refer to something as exciting as an app update to something as urgent as a weather alert.
Text alerts aka text “blasts”, are an effective marketing tactic aimed at reaching multiple people simultaneously. Programs like SimpleTexting allow you send up to thousands of texts at once with a text alert.
Push notifications are pop ups that appear on a mobile device. These messages may appear while customers are on or their phones, or on the lock screen if the device isn’t in use.
Now that we’re clear, let’s talk SMS solutions. Here’s how texting can help you address the common e-commerce issues we talked about above.
- Constantly answering the same FAQ’s: One-off questions about sizing, quantity, pricing, sales…the list goes on. Valuable time is taken away from your team by having to answer the same questions over and over again. By allowing customers to text you their questions instead, you can pre-write templates with the answers to their questions. Save time all while delivering a seamless customer experience. Speaking of…
- Elevating the customer experience: When it comes to texting your way into an award-winning customer service experience, we wrote the guide to it. Literally.
- Capture more sales: We could re-write all the reasons texting works so well for sales, but once again we think just checking out this guide will give you everything you need to know.
- Sending information quickly: Did you know that 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes of receipt? With other channels like email and cold calling, there’s far less of a guarantee your patrons will get your information when you want them to. With texting, conversions are made simpler by the ability to closely control when they’re sent and read.
- Reach customers offline: As an e-commerce business, the internet is only a little bit important to you. However, finding ways to connect with customers IRL is essential if you want to stay relevant against brick and mortar competition. Your customers don’t need to be connected to WiFi or data to receive your messages. As long as they have cell service, you can reach them no matter where they are.
- Stand apart from the competition: We’re big fans of text marketing, and we’re not shy about it. However, the global popularity of text marketing is only now on the rise. The use of SMS marketing grew 197% as a strategy in B2B efforts from 2015 to 2017. To get in on SMS in 2019 still puts you ahead of the curve and on the cusp of early adapter status.
- Improve recruiting: Perhaps your sales have never been better. It’s top tier talent you’re in the market for. SMS for recruiting is one of the fastest growing use cases for the platform. And yes, before you even have to ask, we’ve got a guide full of tips and tricks for that too!
How E-Commerce Businesses Can Increase Sales With SMS Notifications
Having a range of goals for your business is important. But the reality is, without sales, your e-commerce business will go under. That’s why we chose to focus largely on this particular function of text marketing. It’s our belief that a well-rounded understanding of mobile marketing and a healthy respect for the unwritten “rules” of texting are required to achieve success. So in order to give you the necessary crash course on increasing e-commerce sales with SMS we’ll once again begin by addressing the “why” and the “how.”
Why should online businesses use SMS notifications to communicate with customers?
Aside from the aforementioned speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, SMS notifications are effective because you’re only communicating with interested parties. Because of a little regulation known as compliance, the only people your business is allowed to text are ones who have provided their express, written consent.
To put it another way, by widely marketing and communicating the existence of your text marketing program, you begin to gather a network of active supporters of your brand who are likely to take action on your site. No more wondering if your efforts are wasted or if your campaigns are working. The data is all available right in front of you.
SMS notifications are an attractive feature for potential new customers. But it’s an especially effective way to connect with your most loyal ones. Focusing your attention on your supporters can be the most beneficial to your bottom line. Ideally, you want to hook someone right after their first purchase.
After one purchase, a customer has a 27% chance of returning. But if you can get that same customer to come back and make a second and third purchase, they have a 54% chance of making another purchase!
We had the pleasure of watching these statistics play out with one of our clients, B-Unlimited. They used SMS notifications aimed at their target audience of repeat customers (sorority and fraternity members) and increased their average sales over non-texting customers by 5%!
Tracking their e-commerce growth since their text marketing began has yielded a net company growth of around 30%!
How do you use SMS marketing to increase your online sales?
If you remember one thing from this entire piece let it be this: SMS sales marketing is a tool based on relationships. You can send as many coupon codes and flash sales as you want. But if there isn’t reciprocated value and respect you’re not getting everything you can out of the relationship.
The key to increasing your online sales is in sending relevant and timely communications. Personalization is the name of the game. A study by Salesforce found that 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. That same study went on to find that 62% of consumers expect companies to send personalized offers or discounts based on items they’ve already purchased.
You want to anticipate the needs of your customers based on the information you know, and continue to build the relationship from there.
And yes, it is a relationship. At the very start of things however, imagine the breakdown as 70% your effort, 30% your customers. The more effort you put forth up front to provide value the closer you’ll come to 50/50 down the sales lifecycle.
Once you’ve set the foundation for the relationship, you can begin moving forward with traditional two-way communication-based sales tactics. These include things like:
- Follow-up texts after a purchase (learn more about the right time to upsell here)
- Reminder texts (renewing or re-ordering)
- Warm touch texts (contact a lead)
- Action-oriented messages (providing a clear CTA)
Tools for e-commerce businesses to use SMS notifications
And now, the final act. The reason why you’re here on our site to gather insight on e-commerce text notifications. Now that you understand how text messaging’s use of SMS notifications works to benefit your business, we need to explain why you need…us!
Aside from not wanting your personal phone overloaded by business contacts, there are several other benefits to text enabling your e-commerce site with a platform like SimpleTexting. These benefits mainly fall into two categories: features and phone numbers.
Text enabling your store’s phone
SimpleTexting provides you with a few different ways for customers to reach you via text. First, we can help you provision a unique short code. Customers can text in questions or keywords to an easy-to-remember 5 or 6-digit number and connect directly with your business. At SimpleTexting, for example, our short code is 555888.
If you already have a traditional 10-digit landline that your customers are familiar with, that’s not a problem for our team! We are equipped with the tools needed to convert your existing toll-free or landline number so it can both receive text messages (managed through our platform) and phone calls.
Finally, perhaps your business is looking to tap into a local market. A way to help boost your credibility here is to ensure you’re texting customers from a local area code. Even if your store isn’t native to that area, our team can still set you up with a local number that will help familiarize patrons with your product.
Features you just can’t get on a personal phone
Because SimpleTexting manages your texts from an online dashboard, you don’t have to worry about needing a company-wide cell phone. The best part is that subscribers can’t even tell the difference! Messages come directly to their phones as if they had been texting any other friend.
Our platform has the ability to create multiple logins so various managers can access your account. Additionally, detailed records are kept and stored of all your messages to ensure safety and accountability for your business. Because nothing says “booyah” like a paper trail.
Need to manage campaigns on the go? Easy. With our SimpleTexting app for iOS and Android, you can take your dashboard with you anywhere. Some other helpful features available to you as a SimpleTexting customer include…
- Custom fields and data collection to create personalized messaging in a snap
- Polling features that make text to vote simple
- The ability to send rich media like photos and video through MMS
- Integrations available through Zapier that connect your text marketing to thousands of other programs including Shopify and Salesforce
- Web forms that let your fans opt in to your text messages right from your website.
Not to mention our incredible support team who is available seven days a week to make sure all your needs are met.
Just because your business can’t send or receive texts now doesn’t mean people aren’t still trying to reach you. Don’t miss out on another lead. Let our team help you simplify your marketing and communications efforts and join the billions of people texting each day!
Send your first message in minutes. Try SimpleTexting free for 14 days. No credit card required.