SMS use cases for increasing ecommerce conversions include loyalty programs, deals, abandoned cart followups and more.
If you’ve been in the ecommerce field for long enough to know how to Google “how to increase conversions”, you’ve no doubt seen any number of blog posts and ebooks all promising to help you do just that. Mostly, those posts have good things to say--albeit things that are probably a little obvious to most seasoned ecommerce marketers. Who isn’t trying to use better images and clearer descriptions? Who hasn’t at least played with the idea of offering free shipping to entice more of their users to smash that buy button?
But what if we were to tell you that the key to improving conversions isn’t just about A/B testing your product copy or cutting your margins? What if it’s about (whisper it) being in the right place, with the right offer, at the right time?
Need more specifics? Try this: most ecommerce sites aren’t leveraging the highest attention channel at their disposal. At all.
Given the site you’re on, and the title of the blog you’re reading, you don’t get any prizes for guessing that we’re talking about SMS. But take a bow if you already knew that 82% of consumers always read their texts--and 60% do so within five minutes of receiving them. That’s partly why the oft-cited stat of a 98% open rate on texts has held strong, even as SMS marketing has taken off in recent years.
Let’s get down to business: now that you’ve got the tools to find your ideal consumers at the exact right moment (the where and the when), it’s time to focus on the how. As in, how do you leverage this technology to deliver the results you want? Here are a few key ecommerce SMS strategies:
Whether you’re adding SMS options to your existing loyalty program or creating an SMS-only channel, there’s clear evidence that consumers are willing to trade their contact information for access to deals and promotions via text. Use cases can verge from simple SMS-only seasonal offers and flash sales to coupons for essential items that get delivered right when your customer’s last order is running low.
Building on the loyalty program aspect, flash sales are perhaps the best use case for SMS messaging for many ecommerce sites. Injecting a sense of urgency and even gamification into your deals can help to nudge customers across the purchase line.
While it typically requires customers to be known and logged in to your site to activate, adding abandoned cart reminders and deals to your SMS outreach can also help to close more sales. That “hey you forgot something” email that your customers are so used to ignoring comes with a fresh urgency when the message is delivered to their text inbox--especially if it comes with an additional incentive such as limited-time free shipping.
OK, so getting a text about when your order is going to arrive, or where to pick it up might not be the thing that drives your first sale to a customer. But, done well, it is the kind of customer experience that will keep your customers coming back for more. And by “done well”, think more “here’s a message with a link to click that will allow you to pick up your product when you arrive”, as opposed to “this message confirms that your order will arrive on Thursday between 6am and 9pm.”
In that same vein, one of the most-wanted, and yet least-delivered-on use cases for SMS in ecommerce is the ability to access effective support in the same way that you’d check in on a friend who was late to an event: with a quick text message. While the person-power necessary to respond at scale to thousands of customers within a reasonable time frame can seem prohibitive, automation and chatbots can handle a lot of initial issues in exactly the same way as a phone tree (but much less annoying and time-consuming). And, with trained agents waiting to deal with anyone whose issue can’t be resolved with an automated response, the vision of an SMS-enabled order support process can be truly brought to life.
Harnessing the immediate reach and high open rates of SMS can be a critical tool in your ecommerce marketing strategy. Provided it is used appropriately, SMS is a powerful tool for improving ecommerce conversions and driving additional sales and revenue for your business. The key to it, as with all marketing communication, is not to abuse the trust that the consumer placed in you when they opted in to begin receiving your messages. That permission is the most valuable asset that a customer can provide; using it to provide relevant, timely offers and updates not only delivers on the reason they provided it in the first place, but helps to build the trust and confidence from those consumers that will keep them coming back time and time again--an outcome that should be the goal for almost any marketer.
Contact Salesmsg today to learn more about how SMS can boost your marketing efforts and help take your ecommerce conversions to the next level.
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