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.
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.
The focus for advertising campaigns today is often mobile, web, or digital. It’s certainly true that more and more people are using technology for just about everything. But with all that technology, it’s easy to overlook another, more traditional form: Print!
Mobile marketing offers an unprecedented access to your customers virtually any time, anywhere. This is particularly true for SMS marketing because it is “always on”. Customers don’t have to be surfing the web, or using an app to receive messages. Instead, they see the marketing messages right alongside ones from their friends and family.
The other day I received a text message promising me ten days of deals. All I had to do was reply “DEALS” to the shortcode each day and they would send me a coupon for their service. This was great I thought, because my kids had been asking about the company for a while. A deal was just what I needed to get me to let my kids have their way...
If you are the owner-manager of a UK retail business, then you will know that it’s vital to use every weapon you have available to battle with the big guns on the high street and online. That must include embracing all the advantages modern technology provides, including a communications campaign based on the Short Message Service (SMS) – better known as text messages. Not sure what SMS is about and how it will work for your shop? Then read on, because you are missing a golden opportunity to give your small shop a much bigger presence and outreach.
So many of us are used to having our mobiles around nearly 24 hours a day that it’s easy to forget it’s still a growing industry. And though SMS has been around for over two decades, the ways we use it and people’s willingness to use it continues to grow. So for this blog I picked out five facts about mobile and SMS that really make the case that SMS for business has come of age. Let’s see if you agree.
SMS messaging can be a one-way, or a two-way affair. Sending coupons, sale notifications, or event announcements are all one-way messaging. The recipient doesn’t need to reply in order to use the information sent. In two-way messaging though, recipients can reply to your messages. And that makes it much more interesting, engaging, and potentially a lot more work to manage.
Every good retail business owner knows that the key to success is keeping his or her customers happy. Your level of customer service should be all encompassing to succeed and should consist of more than just being polite to the customer at the till.
How many retailers use SMS messaging? According to a recent survey, not that many. And that isn’t the only surprising result shared in the survey conducted by Internet Retailer. Companies large and small know how useful SMS can be. Read on to see why now is the perfect time to start.