Boosting Ecommerce with SMS Marketing
Whilst some businesses still offer physical sales, many companies have an online presence as well. Whether they trade solely on the internet or maintain physical stores, it’s vital for businesses to cater for online customers.
In order to increase sales and turnover, companies rely on a range of marketing methods, such as offline advertising or digital promotions. Whilst these can be effective, many businesses are overlooking the potential of SMS marketing.
With over 80 million active phones in the United Kingdom, the opportunity to reach potential customers via SMS marketing is significant. In addition to this, Real Business estimates that over 98% of business SMS messages are opened by recipients, with over 90% being read within just 3 minutes of being received.
When compared to alternative forms of marketing, such as email marketing, the increased reach obtained via SMS marketing is clear. Used to engage with customers, create brand awareness and increase sales, SMS marketing can be extremely advantageous for businesses.
Increasing online sales with an SMS provider
Currently, many of the 80 million phones in circulation are smartphones. With internet capabilities, consumers are using their devices to shop online, engage on social media and check their emails. This means that content delivered via SMS services can be acted upon immediately.
Sending potential customers a voucher code and embedded link via an SMS message, for example, enables them to go straight to your website to view products and services. With the added incentive of discount codes sent via SMS and easy e-commerce facilities, customers can make a purchase instantaneously.
Reaching your target demographic
Although online SMS marketing affords you the opportunity to reach vast amounts of people, you may want to target a specific demographic with your campaigns. Fortunately, business text messaging provides an effective way to do this.
With Ofcom estimating that over 93% of people own a mobile phone, it’s highly likely that your chosen demographic will be able to receive content via SMS. Furthermore, most people carry their mobile phone with them at all times, meaning that your marketing content can reach them quickly and efficiently.
For businesses offering online sales, a nationwide approach to SMS marketing may be extremely effective. If you’re focusing on increasing sales in a particular geographical area, however, SMS marketing can still be used to produce exceptional results.
By tailoring your business SMS campaigns, you can deliver content to a particular demographic within a specific location. If you have a physical store in North West London, for example, you may want to contact potential consumers within a 30 mile radius, and with a little customer intelligence SMS marketing allows you to do just this.
Similarly, if you are promoting an event in Birmingham, you may only want to target potential attendees within the city boundary. Once again, SMS marketing enables you to segment and engage with people within your chosen area, as well as marketing to the demographic most likely to be interested in your event, product or services.
What industries benefit from SMS marketing?
SMS marketing can be used in almost every industry and, what’s more, it can be used successfully. Whilst retailers may use SMS marketing to directly increase sales, even service related businesses can use SMS contact to operate more efficiently.
If your business requires customers or clients to make an appointment, for example, business text messages are an ideal way to remind people of their existing appointment and ensure that company time isn’t wasted. As well as increasing productivity and turnover, SMS marketing is an extremely cost-effective form of business management.
Similarly, companies which rely on repeat purchases or payments can use SMS services to remind customers to make additional payments or renew a subscription. Whether an insurance provider wants to prompt customers to renew a policy or an online entertainment company wants to encourage viewers to renew a monthly subscription, SMS marketing is effective. With customers able to click on links embedded within the message, they can respond to your call to action straight away, thus reducing distractions as the customer goes through the sales process.
Despite being suited to all sectors, many SMEs are missing out on the potential of SMS marketing. Real Business estimates that just 50% of small businesses are using SMS marketing and there are, therefore, a significant number of SMEs who are failing to reap the rewards associated with SMS services.
As a cost-effective method of marketing, SMS services can be used by businesses of all sizes. With larger corporations sending tens of thousands of SMS messages to potential customers, smaller businesses can simply use SMS services to contact hundreds or thousands of customers, should they choose to do so.
Retaining customers with SMS marketing
Whilst business SMS services can be used to instigate sales and tempt first time buyers, they can also be used to retain customers and engage with existing brand aficionados. Contacting an existing customer via SMS marketing can ensure that they feel valued and therefore increase their loyalty to your company.
Asking for their feedback or encouraging them to publish a review online, for example, can increase brand awareness amongst other people, whilst retaining your existing customers. With many companies hoping to attract ‘fans’, rather than ‘customers’, SMS marketing is an ideal way to build a network of loyal consumers.
In addition to this, SMS services can be used to provide an enhanced level of customer support. If you’re dispatching and delivering goods, for example, SMS marketing can be used to advise customers that their parcel is en route. Similarly, SMS services can be used to offer immediate customer support if a consumer has a query or problem. Providing efficient customer service, in a non-invasive manner, is valued by consumers and can, in turn, lead to positive brand recognition and subsequent sales.
As all businesses relying on marketing to entice new consumers and retain existing customers, it’s vital to make use of the most effective methodologies. Whilst SMS marketing is extremely effective in its own right, it can also be used to complement alternative forms of marketing, as part of a larger campaign.
With the use of smartphones and mobile devices only set to increase, the effectiveness of SMS marketing is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. With access to over 98% of phone owners, businesses which make use of SMS marketing are likely to see practical, operational and financial benefits.
To find out more about using SMS services, contact us today for more information and advice.
When handled correctly, SMS can be a dream partner for e-commerce and has a well-deserved place in your customer service suite. Once you have the all-important opt-in for SMS marketing compliance, you can begin to use SMS as a way to differentiate your e-commerce offer to make your customers' purchasing experience particularly pleasurable.
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