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SMS Solutions for E-commerce Businesses

Published on July 11, 2016

Introduction to SMS Marketing for E-commerce

Laptop half open showing an ecommerce store

There are limitless marketing options these days, and finding the right way to promote your e-commerce business may seem overwhelming. For example, department store Nordstrom discovered that social media and emails weren’t reaching as many of their customers as they hoped. They polled their customers and discovered that nearly a third of them preferred to be contacted via text. Nordstrom embraced text and created TextStyle, a program that allows customers to connect directly with Nordstrom representatives over text message. Customers can also text a personalized code linked to their shipping and payment information to purchase items and receive personalized shopping recommendations.

You don’t need a special app to use texting in your e-commerce experience. Our research has shown that SMS marketing is one of the best ways to reach consumers. 90% of text messages are read in the first 3 minutes, giving you a nearly instant way of reaching your customers. Text messages are also more reliable than emails, which are often trashed before being opened.

Here are some of the ways e-commerce businesses can utilize SMS or text message marketing solutions:

  • Send information about sales or special offers directly to a customer’s phone
  • Share order status updates or shipping notifications
  • Send instant order confirmations for online purchases
  • Use SMS for fast and convenient customer support
  • Ask for customer feedback

Let’s discover more examples of how SMS marketing solutions can help grow your e-commerce business.

Examples of SMS or Text Messaging for E-commerce businesses

Offer special discounts

Discounts are a great way to build your subscription list. When you’re creating your next holiday sale, don’t forget to include your text message subscribers.


With SMS marketing, you can create a special SMS keyword that your subscribers can text to receive a discount code. When your subscribers text this keyword, they’ll instantly receive an exclusive discount code that they can apply to their next purchases.

Send shipping confirmations


Since most text messages are read in the first 3 minutes, text messages can help you instantly communicate with your customers. Send your customers text messages to confirm that their orders have shipped.

Rescue abandoned sales


Abandoned shopping carts remain one of the biggest problems for e-commerce businesses. The next time a customer abandons a shopping cart without checking out, don’t let them get away. Send them a text message reminder.

Include rich media


Text messages aren’t just limited to letters and numbers. Include a shortlink to your mobile site when you’re advertising your next sale. You can also provide shortlinks to coupons and photos.

Get instant feedback


Want to follow up with your customers after they make purchases? Text them a poll, asking if they’re satisfied with their items.

Provide instantaneous customer support


As e-commerce businesses know, customer service can often be a make or break when it comes to maintaining customers. More and more people are choosing texts over phone conversations, so consider implementing an SMS customer support experience.

Allow your customers to text you the next time they need help. Text messages have a reputation for being more instant than emails, so make sure to respond right away.


In addition, you can set up triggers for questions you’re frequently asked. Triggers are special keywords that “trigger” an autoresponse. When your customers ask a common question, they’ll receive an autoresponse. Their concern will be resolved, and you won’t have to answer the same question again and again.

Before You Begin

Before you begin your text message campaign, it’s important to ensure that you’ve received permission from your customers. This means that you are not legally allowed to text your customers if they have not granted you explicit permission to text them. Doing so without consent is prohibited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and can result in heavy fines.

Although you may be wondering how to gain subscribers under these conditions, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. If you offer free discount codes to customers who text an SMS keyword, the customers who respond are agreeing to receive your texts. That’s one reason it’s important to advertise your SMS short code and keywords on your website and promotional materials. When your customers have ways to approach you first, you don’t have to worry about gaining their permission.

If you already have an email subscription sign-up on your website, consider also adding an option to the form where people can provide their phone numbers. Make sure to include a disclaimer stating that by submitting the form, clients are giving you permission to contact them at the email and number provided. This kind of interlinking is a powerful marketing strategy and a smart way to capitalize on your existing success.

Try It for Free

Still not convinced that SMS text marketing is right for you? We offer a free trial for businesses to experience our services in real time. We’ll provide you with a special keyword and 50 messages to send. No payment information is required, and switching your account from free to paid is easy. Why not give it a shot?

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