Blog/Industry News

All About T-Mobile’s New Shopping Cart Reminder Policy

T-Mobile announced a new policy regarding abandoned shopping cart text messages. Here's everything you need to know about it.

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We’ve written before about the real cost of abandoned carts and why abandoned cart text messages make a ton of sense.

Beyond the fact that the majority of e-commerce purchases now happen on cellphones, text messages have a 98% open rate and are usually read within minutes. It’s a great way to recover potentially lost revenue. 

If you’re nodding your head in agreement because you currently use abandoned cart texts, then you need to be aware of T-Mobile’s new policy changes. The new policy came into effect on May 1, 2020, and is aimed squarely at preventing the abuse of this tactic.

The good news is that these texts are not banned outright. Still, you’ll need to update your:

1. Opt-in process

2. Website’s privacy policy and terms and conditions

3. Abandoned cart text message frequency and content 

In this article, we break down exactly what you need to do so that you remain compliant and on the right side of text marketing regulations and laws.

The Opt-In Process

The first element of the policy update focuses on how retailers acquire consent to send abandoned cart text messages.

Update Your Checkout Page

The first change you need to make is to your checkout page, i.e., where consumers provide their cellphone number. There now needs to be a consent statement, and it must not be a required field. 

Incorporate Double Opt-In Via Text

The double opt-in process is a way of confirming someone’s wish to join a text messaging or email list. It gives businesses complete confidence in a subscriber’s consent and helps protect against spam complaints.

Now your shopping cart message program must incorporate double opt-in via text. On top of this, your double opt-in text must clearly state that your text marketing program includes shopping cart reminders

Here’s an example of what your double opt-in text message to customers would look like:

Today 8:00 AM
Reply Y or YES to confirm that you want to receive text messages from Wine Moms (includes shopping cart reminder texts). Msg&data rates may apply. 4msgs/month. Reply HELP for help, STOP to unsubscribe.

Your Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

You’ll need to update your privacy policies and your terms and conditions to add additional disclosures:

  • Your privacy policy must explicitly state how information is captured by the eCommerce site to determine when an abandoned cart event occurs (e.g., website cookies, plugins, etc.)
  • Your terms and conditions must reflect the new privacy policy

Abandoned Cart Text Message Frequency and Content

The final element you need to review involves the frequency and content of your abandoned cart text messages. The new rules are as follows:

  • You can now only send one shopping cart reminder text message per month, which means that you can no longer send a series of reminders
  • You must send the abandoned cart text message within 48 hours of the shopping event
  • You cannot complete a purchase using credit card details sent via SMS or collect payment via SMS in any manner

Final Thoughts on T-Mobile’s New Shopping Cart Reminder Policy

You might be thinking, do I really have to make these changes if the rules apply to just T-Mobile?

Firstly, T-Mobile is the third-largest carrier in the US. Beyond T-Mobile’s market share, this policy is likely to be broadened and adopted by all major carriers. It’s better to be proactive about these policies than reactive.

Texting is such an effective communication channel because mobile carriers swiftly react to protect their customers from aggressive marketing tactics. This policy update likely occurred because online retailers were sending too many abandoned shopping cart text messages.

While it might seem heavy-handed, it means that your texts will continue to drive results when you do send them. It’s yet another reason to follow the rules.

If you have additional questions about the new T-Mobile Policy, our support team is available seven days per week if you have any questions. We pride ourselves on acting as a partner and helping you navigate these kinds of developments.

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