SMS Marketing and Shopify – a Perfect Partnership
With its out-of-the-box functionality, powerful designs and endless opportunities for customisation, it is no surprise that Shopify has become one of the most popular platforms for online stores. As well as offering all the features you’d expect from an online store, it is easy to use even for those with absolutely no technical knowledge. However, the key to success for any online store is getting customers to visit your website – and SMS Marketing is a simple and highly effective way to do this. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of SMS Marketing to help build your Shopify business.
Shopify – eCommerce simplified
Founded in 2004, Shopify claims to be the platform behind over 500,000 merchants and have a gross merchandise volume totalling over £30 billion. Since it’s early days, certain developments have helped Shopify to become one of the major players on online retail. In particular, these are the introduction of the Shopify API platform in 2009, which allowed developers to create and sell integrated apps, and in 2013 the launch of Shopify Payments, which eliminated the need for retailers to process credit card payments through a third party. The result is a seamless platform that handles everything in one place and is designed with one thing in mind – sales. More recently, an integration with Amazon has been announced, allowing merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores.
One of the key attractions of Shopify, apart from the ease of use, is the fact that it offers an exceptional mobile experience, meaning that the ever growing proportion of visitors who browse your store using a mobile device or smartphone are guaranteed the best possible experience. It is exactly for this reason that SMS marketing is now so attractive as a means of communicating with your customers. If your customer chooses to browse your store wherever and whenever they want with a mobile device, it makes perfect sense to harness the power of the same technology to communicate with customers.
SMS Marketing versus Email Marketing
For years, online retailers have relied on email as their primary marketing channel and despite changes in customer behaviour over recent years, there are few signs that store owners are responding to this, partly due to a lack of familiarity with just what SMS Marketing has to offer.
Firstly, open rates for SMS marketing messages vs email are substantially higher. Whilst a good open rate for an email campaign is in the region of 24%, the open rate for SMS is generally reported to be a staggering 97% or higher. The average time to respond to an email in the inbox typically ranges from 45 minutes to 3 hours, whereas in comparison most SMS messages are opened within just 3 minutes. A popular argument is that email is considered to be a free channel, however, with companies like Fastsms offering exceptionally low prices on business bulk SMS bundles, cost is no longer a real cause for concern.
SMS marketing is also incredibly flexible. Although traditionally SMS text messages were limited to 160 characters, the system used by Fastsms allows users to send messages of up to 456 characters – the message is simply ‘chunked’ into up to three messages which are seamlessly joined together on the recipient’s device without them ever knowing. This means that far more information can now be conveyed, including the all important links to online stores, promotions and more – which can be opened right there and then on the recipient’s smart phone. No wonder then that SMS Marketing click through rates are also substantially higher than email.
4 ways to use SMS Marketing effectively
1. Sign up offers
The key to using SMS Marketing effectively to help grow your Shopify store is to get your customers to embrace it from the outset of their relationship – even before they have ever purchased from you. In most cases, customers will browse a few stores before choosing where to buy any particular product. Offering prospective customers an incentive such as a money off voucher in return for signing up to your mobile marketing list is a great way to increase your chances of winning the sale from the outset. If the customer then receives their voucher code instantly by SMS, there is a high likelihood they will redeem it against a purchase – after all, nobody likes to lose money, and an unused voucher feels exactly like this. To increase conversion even more, apply a time limit to the voucher to create a sense of urgency.
2. Order updates
Let’s assume you customer has signed up to your mobile marketing list, claimed their voucher and made their first purchase. Statistically, the vast majority of online stores will now use email as the primary and often only communication channel for all updates on the order progress. If your customer has come to your store and placed their order using their mobile device, they are likely to be far more satisfied if they receive their updates the same way. By all means, continue sending email notifications, but don’t overlook the effectiveness of sending SMS updates as the order progresses – the customer will perceive this as excellent customer service, enhancing their experience and making them much more likely to both make further purchases and recommend you to others.
3. Satisfaction surveys
In the aggressive world of online retail, it is becoming ever harder to compete on product and price alone. This means that customer service is often the deciding factor in a store’s success. SMS Marketing is one of the easiest ways to canvas your customers for vital feedback and gets good response rates because it is so easy for them to participate. Whenever an order has been completed, be sure to ask the customer to rate their experience. SMS Marketing allows you to have questions answered directly via SMS replies or you can send a link to an online survey via a text message. Most importantly, respond to any concerns the customer raises at a personal level – this will help to ensure you get the best possible online reviews and ratings.
4. Special offers
No matter how much the customer likes your Shopify store, they are unlikely to check in every day or week just to check on the latest offers. Offers sent by email are also at risk of being missed in filled-up inboxes or even being inadvertently filed to spam. With SMS Marketing, on the other hand, customers are almost guaranteed to see your offers as soon as they are sent – meaning they are also much more likely to spend as a result. Consider the psychology of SMS Marketing to create highly effective campaigns that will get you the best possible results.
However you choose to use SMS MArketing, remember that ultimately customer relations are at the heart of eCommerce success – and few channels are as effective in today’s mobile world as SMS.
Here at Fastsms, we support businesses of every shape and size to grow with our low price business bulk SMS messaging solutions. We also pride ourselves in offering exceptional customer support that like your online store is available 24/7. Not sure how to get started? Talk to a member of our award winning team now and you’ll be hooked in no time. Give us a call on 0800 954 5305 now to speak to an SMS Marketing expert.
In our demanding, 24/7 world it is difficult to stay on top of your SMS marketing campaign but with scheduling you can ensure you are getting your message to your audience whatever the time.
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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