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Feb 09, 2024
5 minutes read

SMS for e-commerce: Create a successful e-commerce strategy with SMS

Want to grow your business? Then customer contact is key. Now that everybody and everything is connected to each other via these powerful little computers in our hands, the way you communicate with customers is becoming increasingly important for your success. Read all about how you can use SMS to elevate your customer contact, drive sales and create a loyal customer base.

Every successful e-commerce strategy aims to optimise the entire customer experience. Because customer contact isn't limited to the actual point of sale - everything leading up to the moment a customer purchases your goods or services is equally important. You need to attract customers in the pre-sales stage, offer the best guidance and assistance during the sale, and make sure your customers stay happy post-purchase to build a loyal customer base.

The power of SMS

Customer communication is only successful when you employ the right communication channels. You can send and shout your branded messages into the void all you want, but if nobody is there to receive it, you won't benefit from it. This is where SMS comes in.

SMS is a simple and familiar channel for customers to use. SMS messages consist of plain text, without fluff or rich media, and there's a 160 character limit to each message. There are no specific requirements needed for usage: a valid phone number and a service plan to send and receive text messages is enough. Every mobile phone has SMS built-in, so the infrastructure for receiving the messages is hard-wired into all mobile phones worldwide. With 5.1 billion people worldwide subscribed to mobile services (67% of the global population) it's safe to say that SMS is one of the most powerful ways to make sure your customers will receive your communication efforts, no matter where they are.

How to create a successful e-commerce strategy with SMS

1. Pre-sales: Be seen with SMS marketing

Promotions and offers

Announcing personalised pre-sale promotions and special offers can create a sense of exclusivity. You can for example offer early access to deals, special discounts, and rewards. By doing so, your existing customers will feel like they are privy to a special treatment, making them feel important and increasing the chances of early sales.

Sending promotional newsletter emails to loyal customers used to be the most efficient way to entice your audience to buy more, but you're not the only one competing for attention. Inboxes are bursting at the seams with the amount of emails customers get from businesses. Between those and all other noise -like spam- it's becoming increasingly difficult to stand out.

SMS boasts incredible open rates as high as 98%, which means that your messages not only reach your customers, but those messages will also actually be read! SMS Click-Through Rates (CTR) are also 9.18% which is high compared to other digital channels, and customers are thirty-five times more likely to read it than they are an email. This is further proven by the fact that 85% of surveyed people in 2023 admitted to prefer receiving text messages over email or phone calls (Statista).

SMS is also now actively combating spam with the recent changes to 10-DLC (needs link to 10-DLC Glossary) as well as with the addition of the campaign registry. The promotional messages retailers send must first be approved by the campaign registry, preventing spam abuse and helping your messages stand out even more!

2. Purchase: Secure conversions and payments with SMS

Abandoned cart recovery

Some customers wander away from their online carts, for whatever reason. You can send reminders via SMS to customers who have abandoned their online shopping carts with additional information, discounts, or other incentives to complete the purchase. By including a short link to cart in the SMS message, you can create an easy checkout process and a seamless shopping experience.

Authentication and security

You can also make the purchase process easier and more secure by implementing authentication methods via SMS. You can send One Time Passwords (OTPs) to your customers to verify their identity before payment to protect both your customer and your business from unwanted activities.

3. Post-purchase: Continued updates and support via SMS

Order confirmation

What's the first thing customers want to receive after purchasing your goods online? A confirmation of that order. It will put their mind at ease and confirm that the purchase and payment went well. You can send these confirmations via SMS, including additional information such as a track&trace link, estimated delivery times and other important updates regarding the order.

We learned that people – especially first-time buyers – tend to contact us or the restaurant. They are in doubt whether the service works and the restaurant actually received the order and is preparing the meal. We removed that friction with a quick SMS to save time and money. An SMS notification truly adds value here.

- Sander Kole, Director IT at Takeaway.com

Takeaway.com is one of Europe’s most popular food delivery services. They inform their customers via SMS that the order has been received, removing friction and adding value to the customer experience. Read their success story: Customer Story - Takeaway.com

Delivery notifications

You've sent your customer a confirmation SMS with the details of their purchase and an estimated delivery date. Are you done? Well, no. What if traffic is bad, there are shipping issues, and something essential goes wrong? The delivery is late, your customer is a no-show, and the logistical issues that arise will be costly. So how do we prevent this?

You may not be able to influence external factors, but you can take control of the delivery process by communicating it. Send status updates of the delivery to your customers through SMS notifications; keeping your customers in the loop is a major factor in providing a good customer experience.

Personal support and valuable feedback

The aftercare of a sale doesn't just end at the delivery. Your customer may have questions or feedback regarding your product. Direct customer support via SMS offers your customers an accessible and quick channel for all their needs. You can even ask for feedback via SMS surveys, which is a great tool for gathering valuable feedback to enhance the customer experience your business offers.

Empower your business with SMS

The simplicity and effectiveness of SMS makes it an indispensable tool for driving traffic, boosting sales, and fostering customer loyalty. Whether it's promotional messages, support, or abandoned cart recovery, SMS will help you connect with customers directly, timely and meaningfully.

With its quick setup via CM.com, you can start benefitting from the power of SMS in no time! Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss the possibilities for your business.

Start today with SMS and boost your business!

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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