Why SMS is an essential part of your e-commerce strategy

Cross-channel marketing allows brands and online retailers to combine different communication channels to reach customers and create cohesive shopping experiences. In this article, we’ll look at the role of SMS in cross-channel marketing and why it’s important in an overall e-commerce strategy.

Cross-channel marketing and the use of SMS in e-commerce

From email inboxes and social media to mobile phones and laptops, shoppers today move seamlessly between channels to interact with brands. Google found that consumers who shop across multiple touchpoints have 30% higher customer lifetime value than those who don’t. Related, Aberdeen revealed that 51% of marketers use eight or more channels to deliver customer experience.

SMS is one of the touchpoints increasingly used in online cross-channel marketing strategies. The latest data shows that globally, 69% of marketers are leveraging it. In 2020, the number of mobile messages sent increased by 400%, while the SMS conversion rate grew by 102% year-over-year.

5 reasons why SMS is an important channel for e-commerce brands

When done right, SMS can easily connect brands with consumers and convert them. Here are five compelling reasons why mobile messaging is now a must-have, rather than an add-on, for brands and online retailers.

1. Offer personalized customer journeys

Although the data varies, consumers check their phones approximately 80 to 150 times a day, on average, making mobile messaging more personal, immediate and direct. However, this is not the only reason to use SMS to personalize customer journeys. The reality is that buyers simply expect it, and brands that don’t personalize communications risk losing 52% of their customers, according to a Selling power investigation.

In order to deliver only useful and relevant messages, Ulta encourages shoppers to complete their personal beauty profile so that they receive offers and information based on their individual preferences.

Source: Ultra

2. Strengthen relationships with loyal customers

For 75% of consumers who already care about a brand, receiving text messages is something they are open to. As a platform to boost loyalty and retention, brands can keep shoppers up to date with the latest rewards updates, much like Soko Glam does.

Source: Soko Glam, SMS Archive

Additionally, mobile messaging can be turned into an exclusive channel with offers that are only available to buyers enrolled in the SMS program. As a two-way conversational channel, brands can also use SMS to deepen customer relationships through short surveys and gather product feedback and customer reviews.

3. Reach Gen Z shoppers where they are

From the United States to France, the latest survey by Periscope by McKinsey found that opening and reading mobile messages drove high levels of engagement with shoppers. This is especially true among young consumers, or Gen Z, who are the first digital natives. Another report revealed that more than 70% of 18-34 year olds want to be able to send messages to brands. It is therefore crucial to emphasize not only its exclusivity but also its accessibility. Williams-Sonoma excels at communicating how easy and accessible it is to interact with this demographic using SMS.

Source: Williams Sonoma, SMS Archive

4. Convert on-the-go shoppers

Some brands have already seen Impressive SMS Marketing Results, with click-through rates and conversion rates reaching 70% and 20% respectively. Due to its simple nature, the increase in a buyer’s chances of buying is high, especially if done strategically.

For example, during the holiday season, Bloomscape sent a link that took users directly to the gift card purchase page, leaving no room for distractions or potential friction. Brands can improve this by increasing the relevance of text messages with intent-based data which understands real-time buyer intent.

Source: Bloomscape, SMS archive

5. Reduce cart abandonment

Mobile messaging can be a great tool to bring buyers back into the customer journey. A Gartner report found that when sending follow-ups, SMS open and response rates are 98% and 45% respectively, which is higher than the corresponding email figures of 20% and 6%.

Brands can send abandoned cart SMS reminders like what Uniqlo says to potential mobile messaging subscribers. Another use case for SMS allows shoppers to easily access their carts wherever they shop. With text alerts that rebuild cartsshoppers can pick up right where they left off and seamlessly continue the shopping experience anytime, on any channel.

Source: Uniqlo

Leverage SMS marketing to boost cross-channel marketing and customer engagement

SMS is one of the fastest growing tools that e-commerce brands can use to boost customer interactions, loyalty and retention. It’s not only personalized, accessible, and engaging, but it’s also proven effective in increasing conversions. Conversations are no longer limited to emails and social media platforms. A very effective communication channel, the SMS completes a global and winning cross-channel marketing strategy.

Shani Weinstein is vice president of brand at Namogoothe world’s first digital journey continuity platform, helping over 1,000 must-have brands shape their customer journeys to meet the needs of every shopper.

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