16 December 2011

How SMS Marketing Can Improve Online Sales

by Webb

John is at home, browsing for a new printer. His old one packed it in earlier and he needs a new one soon so that he can finish printing photos for a special birthday gift to his girlfriend, Ali.

He finds a printer he likes and adds it to his shopping basket, when he hears a knock on the door. Quickly, he turns off his computer – it must be Ali – and hurries to let her in.

The next morning, John receives an SMS from the e-commerce shop reminding him that he has items in his basket and includes a link to the online shop to complete the transaction.

SMS messages are great reminders

Normally, John’s shopping cart would register as «abandoned» as he will forget about the goods in his basket and shop somewhere else tomorrow. Even if he does remember, he’ll need to find his product again and add it to his cart.

With so many distractions taking our customers away from their computers, SMS marketing, or in this case SMS «service» is a great way to keep customers engaged and to help bring them back to an online store.

In fact, customers prefer multiple options for interacting with brands and businesses and SMS is the top of the list.

Get them to opt in

To use SMS to boost online sales by bringing customers back to your site, or to allow them to complete a transaction at a later time, you’re going to need those customers’ mobile numbers.

Most people have a deeply personal connection with their mobile phones and that results in an expectation of real value from your SMS messages.

By adding a field in your profile forms and sign up areas for mobile numbers and being clear about the SMS services and integration you offer, you’ll give customers a good reason to opt-in. Point out that by adding a mobile number to their profile, they can receive important messages and reminders from your shop.

Inform and serve

Rather than blasting out weekly messages about the latest sale item, SMS marketing is much more effective when you inform and serve your customers. They won’t see these kinds of messages as an intrusion into their personal mobile space, and they will be more likely to read your future messages (research has shown that 95% of text messages are opened and read).

E-retailers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from improved sales online, service businesses can also use SMS marketing to boost sales via their websites by offering customers:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Service updates or renewal reminders
  • Bill notifications
  • Specials and discount codes
  • New promotions (be sparing and don’t send them weekly)

When everything is synced up and integrated into the customer experience, SMS marketing and service messages work together with the online retail system to increase conversions, lower cart abandonment, and improve satisfaction with the brand.

All great ways to improve your online sales.

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