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SMS Marketing in E-commerce – Ultimate Guide

Good old school SMS. You probably think there’s no place for such a thing of the past in modern e-commerce, whereas it turns out that in some situations it is much more effective than other ways of communication with the client. Instant notifications, delivery statuses and engaging two-way conversations – this is the power of SMS messages. It seems like 160 characters make a real difference. 

Mobile marketing using bulk SMS sending can be a very effective way to reach a wide range of consumers as well as to build relationships with existing customers in e-commerce. The condition is, however, that the senders of such messages comply with the rules of SMS marketing

In practice, this means that a well-prepared mobile campaign provides specific value to recipients, is a response to their needs and interests, and not just random information about a product or service. 

Quick list of good SMS marketing practices

How to measure effectiveness of SMS marketing?

Use short links with the UTM parameters to track traffic in Google Analytics. It is the simplest way to check how well are your campaigns performing. Here’s a quick video instruction on adding UTM to short links:

In the following paragraphs, we will present the most frequent problems of e-commerce that SMS messages can quickly solve.

1. Customers missed the promotion?
Solution: make a sale with SMS marketing in e-commerce 

Almost everyone has at least one mobile phone. And so, SMS can be a very effective way to transfer a customer from an offline to the online world. All you must do is include a link, preferably a shortened one with UTM parameters. It will lead the recipient to the store. Notify the consumer about current promotions and try to get them to buy quickly. 

An example of SMS timed promotion

A Japanese restaurant that sells sushi online can send SMS to its customers with the following content: 

An example of a text message: John, a promotional set of 40 pieces of sushi for EUR 20 only until 6 PM today. We look forward to receiving your order at www.cut.li/sushi
An example of an SMS with a time-restricted promotion

Upon clicking the URL, the recipient is redirected to the cart page, to which a promotional sushi set has been added and can immediately order it. A single SMS sent on weekdays in the afternoon can increase the number of orders in the restaurant. 

2. Lack of information about the status of the order?
Solution: automated SMS reminders

SMS communication will be useful during order processing. At this time, it’s vital to communicate quickly and effectively. The customer should enjoy shopping and count down the hours to receive the package, and not wonder if his order was placed successfully, or the courier lost the parcel in the sorting house. What should communication look like at the stage of the order fulfilment? 

The first information about the status of the order should be sent by e-mail – this is the right solution when the transaction is completed because the customer is online and will check the e-mail afterwards. Further information about the status should be sent via SMS because this message will be delivered directly to the recipient’s pocket. 

What’s important, this process can be fully automated thanks to the integration of SMSAPI with most popular e-commerce software like Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and many others

Notifications are also useful when the consumer has completed the purchasing process but has not confirmed the payment. In this situation, it is enough to send a short message to the customer that you want to pack and ship the product he ordered, but he probably forgot to pay. 

An example of SMS payment reminder

In the case of an online store selling backpacks, the message may look like this: 

An example of a text message: Tom, someone is missing you! Do not let a product wait for you in the basket. If you want to see similar backpacks, go to www.cut.li/backpack
An example of an automated SMS payment reminder

Moreover, it’s popular to send notifications when you have to give back money after accepting the return of the product. In this situation, it’s worth formulating a payment status message. It would show that you care for every customer and you want to improve the quality of their shopping experience with the standard of service.

Especially in the case of complaints and returns, it may even condition subsequent orders placed by the consumer in the future. Younger generation attaches great importance to the customer experience of the store, guided not only by a price. 

3. No returning customers?
Solution: SMS remarketing 

Efforts to get a customer back who has entered the store but has not bought anything is simply remarketing. The idea is simple – product ads are displayed after some time spent on particular carts. If the user browsed the offer of the online store with bicycles, then on the next visited pages, Google Ads will show the bikes that interested him. This solution is also available on Facebook. But is that enough? 

An example of SMS remarketing

Paul was looking for a bike in a shop recommended by friends, looked through the offer, chose and bought the right model. Over the following weeks, he still saw many display ads around even though he finalized the order.  

In this case, the ad budget was misplaced, because it was intended for advertising directed at a customer who has already bought the product. Such actions can only discourage a customer from a particular e-shop. Yes, it’s worth expanding your remarketing strategy with activating customers who have made a purchase, but this should be done differently. 

Contact information about Paul, who finalized the order, is already in the database. So let’s offer him a discount on a complementary product. Not necessarily in the form of advertising on every page he visits, but by simple SMS. The message could look like: 

An example of a text message: Paul, spring -20% promotion is in! We know that you ride your bike very often, so you will probably need a spare inner tube, panniers or a pump? www.cut.li/bicycle
An example of an SMS remarketing message

4. Lack of evaluation of the order?
Solution: collecting feedback via 2-Way SMS

How to find out what the client expects? Ask him. Literally. Most of SMS bulk services allow the use of a virtual number to which the buyer can send a reply. Use it if you’d like to collect information about the quality of customer service via the survey. 

An example of SMS feedback

Send an automate SMS messages right after order completion: 

An example of a text message: Thank you for shopping! How would you rate our service on a scale of 1-6? Rate us a return and get a 10% discount redeemable on your next purchase!
An example of a text message asking for feedback

Two-way communication can solve more problems – it works well if the client is involved in competition in various contests. Feedback will be generated automatically in SMSAPI Customer Portal.  

Summary 

Nowadays, consumers expect more attention and quick response to their questions. Automating the information sent to them in the following stages of the purchase process can help meet these expectations. An old, good SMS effectively breaks through information noise. This process can be easily implemented in e-commerce thanks to SMS modules for e-stores. 

Regardless of their purpose, text messages will be useful in every step of the purchase process. Whether they serve as notifications about the status of packages, or in remarketing or promotional campaigns, their effectiveness and speed of delivery guarantee the improvement of the store’s customer experience, and consequently ROI.