SMS Messaging Still Seen As A Differentiator In Retail – For Now
Internet Retailer surveyed “100 e-commerce retail professionals” from their mailing list for a mobile messaging survey. The results were somewhat surprising.
SMS ranked 5th for channels currently used by retailers. Email and social media were ranked much higher – even phone calls came before SMS!
- 97% email
- 82% Social media
- 66% phone calls
- 32% mobile apps
- 29% SMS messaging
- 25% OTT messaging (chat apps like Line and WhatsApp)
- 20% Push notifications
Out of those who said they didn’t use SMS, a startling 16.9% said they didn’t “know anything about SMS messaging for business”. Over 50% knew about it, thought it would be useful, but haven’t made it a priority.
What those non-SMS users said they need in order to make it a priority is “seeing an opportunity to drive revenue or improve customer service”.
Opportunity Is Everywhere
I’d have to say those respondents just haven’t been looking. If they had, they’d have seen opportunity in every retail business sector. Both online and brick and mortar stores have numerous examples of ROI in the hundreds to thousands of percent. Case studies of improved customer service and reduced costs are plentiful too.
In the Internet Retailer report, they described how one of the “world’s largest retailers of PCs, tablets and smart phones” used SMS messaging to engage its customers in the US and Canada. They used a two-way SMS programme that enabled them to get the customers connected to a “device diagnostics service”.
Because of the service, the company immediately reduced their technical support costs and the time it took to reach a resolution on the issues. Their customers were happier too because of the faster turnaround times. Since it was such a success, they’ve since rolled the programme out to 30 more countries.
Who Is Using It
It isn’t just big companies finding success with SMS messaging. The survey included responses from retailers who have online or physical locations with 50% saying they are both. Business of all sizes are included too, from under $5 million to over $1 billion in revenue (~£4M and £760M). In fact, 43% of respondents were in the under $5 million category.
When asked about the reasons that drove them to use SMS, “Opportunity to differentiate” won out at 69%. But that advantage may not hold out for too long.
This report, and other surveys, show that SMS messaging in retail is still gaining ground. It probably won’t be too long before the 50% that knows it can be good will actually start investing in it. SMS will become a priority when they finally see a use case that reflects their business, their customers demand it, or they are put at a competitive disadvantage by not using it.
While SMS is different than email, it may end up following a similar pattern when it comes to communication. Everyone uses email. So much so that it is often ignored or missed by the customers that receive it.
At the moment, SMS can break through all that noise because people still check their messages almost immediately. But as more companies begin using it, customers may become jaded, or may choose not to sign up to any more SMS lists. At least they will likely be more selective as to which ones they choose.
If that happens, then it will be easier for retailers that started using it early on. They will have their lists, loyal customers, and the processes in place to make the most of what they have.
So if you’re one of that 50% that know about SMS but haven’t made it a priority, we’re here to help you understand how easy it can be to add it into your mix of channels. We have industry specific reports you can view here, and our guide to using SMS in mobile marketing here. This blog is also filled with examples, advice and information for retailers.
We’re also happy to talk to you by live chat or on the phone to ensure all your questions get answered.
If you’re in the 15.5% of the respondents who were actively looking for an SMS service provider, you can download our buyer’s guide here. It’s chock full of tips and questions you should ask any provider you’re considering. We’d be happy to talk to you too, and answer any questions.
The drive to earn and retain consumer loyalty is big business in the UK. Increasingly, companies are grasping the important role SMS text messaging can play in this. Customers’ mobile phone numbers are gold dust. The most forward-looking companies are developing systems to encourage customers to opt-in. Then, they are structuring SMS campaigns to build loyalty and reap maximum commercial advantage from it.
One of the greatest advantages of SMS marketing is how fast it is. You might be thinking I'm talking about the almost instantaneous delivery rates, or how quick it is to write a message and send it to your entire list - but this time we're talking about how fast you can get results.
Loyalty and rewards programs can help your business retain your best customers. But they only work if customers see your messages and can check their reward status. A new survey shows most people prefer companies use to SMS for loyalty programs. Find out why in this blog.
You've run a successful SMS opt-in campaign for your retail store. Now that you have your list, do you have a plan to keep them from opting out? Wait, you mean there's more to this than just sending out coupon codes? There is if you want to keep your customers from opting out.
One mistake some marketers make is assuming people will know what to do when they read an SMS message. After all, they’re short and to the point right? How confusing could they be? On the other hand, when writing every other form of marketing they know that calls to action need to be clear. So, just because you don't have much room, it doesn’t mean you get to leave out your call to action! Saving space and being brief is important though, so take a look at three of the best SMS marketing CTAs you can use.
Are you looking to grow your business? Get more customers? Have larger profits? Of course you are. Isn't every business looking to improve, grow and generate more sales? More and more businesses are realising how SMS messaging can help them do all those things. But it's nice to have some facts to back up what most people seem to assume is true.
With consumer spending on Britain's 57 million furry friends valued at over £4.5 Million and all the signs showing that this is only going to increase, there has never been a better time for the sector to invest in marketing - and SMS marketing should be top priority. As pet owners spend more and more time pampering their pets and investing in pet paraphernalia, the opportunities are infinite. SMS marketing is one of the best ways to ensure that your offers get seen - and in most cases, instantly. With its low costs, exceptionally high open rates and above average response rates, SMS Marketing offers huge potential for ROI.
SMS marketing is very different to most other more traditional marketing tools, specifically because of its short-form, text only nature. This certainly shouldn't put you off though. We have put together our guide to both the best things about SMS marketing and some of the potential problems, and how to work around them.
At the end of February, Amazon’s S3 servers went down. And so did much of the Internet. What can we learn from the experience about communicating with customers during an online disaster? According to experts, having a plan that includes SMS messaging is key.