Using SMS Integration for Superior eCommerce Marketing and Customer Experience
Email has traditionally been the preferred method of communication for eCommerce businesses, both in terms of marketing and customer service. But with the extreme growth that the industry has experienced, customers are beginning to feel bombarded, their inboxes stuffed with promotional emails they’ll never even bother to open let alone skim. Savvy eCommerce brands saw this coming a while back and turned to an old and trustworthy friend to “cut through the noise” and connect with customers: the text message.
Numerous eCommerce brands have gone all-in on SMS for both marketing and customer service. Let’s examine what texting has to offer to eCommerce companies looking to connect with new and existing customers.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is a relatively simple concept. It entails using text messages to engage your customers with promotional materials designed to get them to visit your eCommerce website and ultimately make purchases. Think sending messages like, “Summer sale! 50% off our entire site” or “Free gift with every purchase,” directly to customers’ mobile devices.
SMS is an important piece of a well-rounded eCommerce marketing strategy. It complements other channels like email very well while allowing you to connect directly with customers on devices they spend over three hours using every day.
The benefits of SMS marketing for eCommerce businesses
It’s an age-old question that has plagued marketers for generations: How do we get our products in front of our target audience at the right time without overwhelming them? The recent explosion of eCommerce - combined with the overall proliferation of technology — has resulted in numerous channels for marketers to connect with their audiences.
But with so many companies vying for attention all at once, things are bound to get messy. Email inboxes start to overflow. Social media feeds are clogged with advertisements that users just scroll right past.
For marketers, the issue is no longer around access to potential customers, but how to cut through the noise and reach people where they are most likely to act. That’s what SMS marketing is all about. Let’s examine some of the key benefits of incorporating SMS into your overall eCommerce marketing strategy.
Capitalize on better open rates
According to Gartner, people open text messages at an average rate of 98% -a sizable figure when you consider that the average email open rate hovers around 20%. The data shows that people engage more with marketing material when they receive it via text message. This can ultimately lead to more conversions and a higher return on investment (ROI) when compared to more traditional email marketing.
Get the word out fast
It takes an average of 90 seconds for a person to respond to a text message. We’re accustomed to thinking of SMS as a timely communication channel, designed for quick responses and real-time exchanges. This makes SMS an extremely effective platform for getting customers to act fast-think flash sales, temporary promotions, etc.
Cast a wider net
Virtually everyone has a cell phone these days, and texting is no longer the domain of young people the way it once was. Using SMS as a marketing channel can help you cross generations and demographics. When compared to social media platforms-which tend to skew younger-SMS represents a way to reach a much larger audience.
Improving eCommerce customer experience with SMS
It’s no secret that acquiring new customers is expensive, so encouraging past purchasers to come back is extremely important. In order for these customers to return, however, they need to have an all-around positive perception of your brand and its products. This forms the bedrock of long-term customer relationships — and where having a best-in-class customer experience is crucial.
While SMS can be a key part of your overall marketing strategy-think customer acquisition, promotions, etc.-that’s not the full extent of its capabilities when it comes to eCommerce. Not only can SMS help drive your conversions, but it can also help you deliver a superior customer experience-a key factor in turning one-time purchasers into long-term brand loyalists.
Order and delivery updates
Creating a great customer experience is all about making every step of the buyer’s journey easy and convenient for customers-from browsing, checking out, and beyond. One area where SMS can lend itself directly to your customer experience is through order and delivery updates. SMS integration lets you text your customers directly to provide purchase confirmation, expected delivery dates, and shipping and tracking information.
Communicating this information directly to customers’ phones is ideal because they prefer to access this information in real time, be it at home or on the go. Customers don’t have to sift through email inboxes to find tracking codes, or access shipping information on third-party sites.
SMS integration facilitates a seamless line of communication, ensuring customers have complete visibility into their order status right on their phone. An investment in SMS integration is an investment in convenience for your customers-and convenience is at the heart of good customer experience.
A well-designed strategy for customer service can help create loyal customers, encourage brand advocacy, and even generate revenue. These days, it’s imperative that brands adopt tools and technologies that help them connect with customers on their terms to solve any issues that arise. SMS is a big part of that approach
Telnyx, a cloud-based provider of communication solutions, helps companies implement powerful SMS communications capabilities into their applications. It works with eCommerce companies to help facilitate seamless, convenient communication via SMS to create superior customer experiences.
The Telnyx platform helps eCommerce customer service teams resolve issues faster, trading the delayed response times associated with email for the immediacy of texting. SMS allows support team members to connect with customers on a more personal level, helping them to put a face to your brand and not feel like they have to work through a machine to get their needs met. Plus, SMS is easy to work around customer schedules and is not as labor-intensive as a phone call.
“We’re at an intersection of two trends — eCommerce companies have discovered the power of SMS, while telecom carriers are working to protect their subscribers from unwanted or unsolicited spam through initiatives like 10DLC “, said Alex Sobin, an account executive at Telnyx. “Any business looking to start leveraging SMS for marketing needs to make sure they’re compliant to avoid service disruptions and carrier penalties. Or, they can work with an SMS provider with a deep understanding of both telecom and eCommerce, like Telnyx.”
Setting up your brand for SMS success
Integrating SMS into your marketing strategy and overall customer experience can help you not only drive conversions but create long-term revenue growth by forging lasting relationships with customers. It’s an underused and underappreciated channel for eCommerce businesses, but when used correctly, can be one of the most important tools in your sales and customer service arsenals.
Interested in learning more about integrating SMS into your eCommerce environment? Get in touch with Codal today.
Originally published at https://codal.com.