Retail Focus: Top SMS marketing strategies for Mcommerce

Written by
Samuel Harrison

Our phones are with us everywhere. While the average person only uses their phone for around 3 hours a day, most millennials have their phones within arm’s reach for 22 hours a day. And yet 61% of marketers aren’t using SMS marketing to talk to their customers, seems crazy right?

Almost all digital marketing teams in 2021 are using email marketing, but the astonishing part of that is studies have shown that SMS has an 8x higher engagement rate. Email even has a worse click through rate at 2.5% versus 19% for SMS. Due to the lower open rate (SMS 98% vs email 20%), if your business sent out an email to a thousand people and an SMS to a thousand people then an average of 5 of those people would reach your site from the email and 186 would click through from the SMS.

That’s a 3,620% increase.



Mobile commerce or Mcommerce, refers to any transaction that takes place via a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet, or wearable device. Industry watchers predict that mCommerce will be the next phase of eCommerce, allowing users to make purchases anytime and anywhere.

So by this point in the article you’re probably thinking to yourself that you should build some SMS marketing into your retail Mcommerce campaigns. Here’s 5 SMS marketing strategies that you can use to help your business be the best it can be:

Optimise Your Landing Pages For Mobile

You cannot discount how important a mobile optimised site will be for your business. Research from Google shows that 59% of shoppers say that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding where to make a purchase. And it’s not just offering the option to make a purchase on mobile that you need to think about – customers who have a negative experience shopping on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future

Whether you’re building or evaluating your existing online store, mobile optimisation should be one of your first concerns. Make sure that all of your content resizes automatically to fit a mobile screen, and if you can, try and test with multiple mobile browsers and device sizes. Many mobile devices have rounded corners, so putting interactive items at a bottom or top corner should be avoided, for example.

SMS Keywords

You may have seen an advertisement online or in person with a call to action that says “Text FLASH to 011940 for an exclusive discount”. This is an SMS keyword, which when received by your SMS platform will generate a specific reply.

This is a great way to grow your SMS subscriber base as it can be used in any medium. For example where a clickable ad online is great, with an SMS keyword you could put this on any of your advertising collateral. Anything from an in-store leaflet to a billboard!

You can use this as a gauge of how engaged the recipient is by using double opt-in. This is where you get the customer to provide their details on your standard opt-in form but then the first message you send requires them to click a link or reply to confirm that they want to receive marketing messages.



Welcome Campaigns

This might be something you’re already doing with email, but if not then did you know that 96% of marketers rate SMS welcome campaigns as effective?

A welcome campaign should be a short chain of messages triggered when the user subscribes. You’ll want to be sure to clearly state what they can expect from the messages you’ll send them and the type of content in those messages.

For example, if you’re a cosmetics retailer and you’re planning on using SMS to market new product launches, special offers and events then just say that up front. Being open and transparent with your subscribers is going to ensure that they have a more positive image of your business and will reduce chances of them opting out in the future.

Stock Updates

We all know the pain of finding the perfect item to only find it’s out of stock. Sometimes it’s a new t-shirt and they don’t have your size or maybe with the 2021 semi-conductor shortage it’s a new gadget or games console. Something that can dull the pain for the customer is offering SMS notifications for when the item is back in stock.

But it’s not just great for the customer – it’s great for your business too. These customers are so interested in an item they’re willing to hand over the personal phone number so you can tell them when it’s available again. Back in stock email notifications have been shown to have around a 139% higher conversion rate in a case study by Bronto. Now apply that to the kind of stat increase you get in open rates and click through rates for SMS messages – compelling stuff!

This also can stop buyers from looking elsewhere, if they trust you’ll email them when an item is back in stock then why bother looking for a different product to fulfil their need?

Back in stock emails have a 139% higher conversion rate than the average promotional communications



After Purchase

According to a recent study by Narvar, 83% of online shoppers expect regular communication about their purchases. But why should you use SMS for this? Let’s look at the facts:

  • A 98% open rate for SMS means that your customers are much more likely to see your delivery notifications than via email
  • If your customer is more likely to see the delivery notifications, they’re more likely to ensure the package is received – making them a happier customer
  • Delivery notification SMS don’t just have to be informational; you can also link the customer to complimentary products. With a higher click through rate you’re bound to see more conversions.

Shipping isn’t the only thing that happens after a purchase. Once your customer has bought something it’s in your interest to get them to write a review of it. This is important because 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. But not only that, a recent article by Reviews.io showed that SMS review requests see a 3x higher conversion rate compared to email!



Next Steps

As you can see from the 5 tips above, SMS marketing is a powerful tool for retail Mcommerce. To learn more about the tools and techniques you can use to support and even improve your business, get in touch with one of our experts today.

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