Why You Should Use SMS to Follow Up After E-Commerce Purchases

Back to Navigating SMS

If you run an e-commerce store and you don't send texts to customers after they make a purchase, you're leaving money on the table. We'll explain.

Let’s do some basic math. Say you make an average of 1,000 sales per month, and earn $5 profit on each sale. If you send each of these 1,000 customers a text, it will cost $45 (less if you’re on an annual plan).

That means you would need just 8 customers to make another purchase because of a follow-up text in order to see a positive ROI.

In this example, that’s a less than 1% conversion rate. When you consider that text messages have an average open rate of 99%, a 1% conversion rate is a conservative goal.

Let’s be dream big and imagine the text has a 5% conversion rate. (Still pretty conservative.)

That would amount to an extra $205 dollars in profit every month. Easy money when you consider it takes less than a minute to write and send a text.

Here are four texts you should start sending, and how to set them up. We’ll imagine you use Shopify, Woocommerce, or another e-commerce platform which connects to SimpleTexting through Zapier. Of course, all of these messages can also be sent manually, too.

1. Ask If They’re Satisfied

If your customer gave you permission to text them, use it wisely. Don’t jump right out of the gate with an upsell. Instead, send out a text asking your customer whether they’re happy with their purchase.

You can make this automatic using Zapier. Just set up text that sends out when an order’s status is updated to delivered.

After that, write your message. It’s best to make it sound as personal as possible. In other words, like it’s coming from a human. The goal is for people to actually reply—which they won’t do if it sounds like an automated message. Here’s a good example:

Today 4:32 PM
Hey James, I see your order was delivered a few days ago. Were you happy with it?
Yes, thank you! It fits perfectly.

If they haven’t seen the package at the door, people will appreciate a notification knowing their item has arrived.

Plus, this text will let you get ahead of any negative reviews and give you the chance to make things right if the customer isn’t satisfied. When someone replies to your message, it comes at no cost to you. And from our Inbox, it’s easy to have a 2-way conversation.

2. Request a Product Review

Adding social proof to your product pages is one of the single biggest things you can do to increase purchases. What’s social proof? It’s just an industry term for recommendations from experts, celebrities, or fellow customers.

In other words, reviews like these:

Simple, but incredibly powerful. According to a blog post from Shopify:

  • 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less before they feel they can trust a business enough to make a purchase
  • 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews
  • 70% of customers consult reviews or ratings before making a final purchase.

Your customers are on their phones anyway. Why not send a text asking them to leave a review once they’ve had time to use your product?

Just like the previous text, you can automate this one. Send it out a week after an order is closed. Depending on your site, you can send a link straight to the product review page or to a third-party site like Facebook.

Today 1:43 PM
Thank you for purchase, Erika! We’d be forever grateful if you could take a minute to leave us a review: txt.st/MDF95

3. Suggest Another Product

Remember, the idea isn’t to pressure people into adding more to their cart. The goal of these texts is to make people feel valued, and introduce them to products they genuinely want but may not be aware about.

Amazon (of course) has mastered this are with the “customers also bought” section:

Take this same concept and apply it your text messages.

With Shopify, you can put together a list of people who purchased a certain product then import it into SimpleTexting. (Remember that they all must have given consent first.) Then, find another product they may be interested in and send it by text.

Today 12:10 PM
Our new watercolor sketchbooks are in stock. I think they’d work great with the kit you bought recently! Here’s a link if you want to check them out: txt.st/MDF95

You can also use MMS to attach an image to your message, like in the example above.

[Read: Why This Clothing Boutique Announces New Products By Text Message]

4. For Canceled Orders, Ask If You Could Have Done Better

Shopify also has a Zapier trigger for whenever an order is canceled. Use this as an opportunity to gather feedback and maybe, just maybe, change their mind!

The key here isn’t to try to persuade the customer to reopen their order. Send a message asking for feedback which you can implement to increase retention in the future.

Maybe they found the same item cheaper elsewhere? Maybe they input the wrong billing address and couldn’t figure out how to update it?

Not only will you learn about your shop’s points of friction, but you’ll also create a positive image for your brand by genuinely asking customers for their opinion.

Today 12:39 PM
This is a confirmation that your order has been canceled. Is there anything we could have done better?
I realized the shipping time was too long. I needed it before this weekend.

Final Thoughts

Automated emails are a staple for every e-commerce store. But with average open rates of less than 16%, they’re becoming less effective. Brands who use text messages set themselves up to build better relationships, retain more customers, and drive more sales.

If you take time to look at your customer journey and identify the places where a brief text message would be welcome by customers, it’ll be time well spent.

Want more tips on how to leverage SMS for your store? Check out our guide to SMS marketing for e-commerce. For help integrating SimpleTexting with your e-commerce platform using Zapier, click here or start a chat with our support team today!

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