Enhance Your Shopping Experience With SMS Messaging

by Klaus on March 31, 2020

in Articles

Use SMS marketing to create an enhanced shopping experience and improve your omnichannel marketing strategy.

When you think about your marketing strategy, do you envision an omnichannel experience that creates one, comprehensive vision? One that when customers visit your store or shop online, it feels like a seamless transition and provides an excellent customer experience? 

If this is what you’re envisioning for your company, but haven’t already invested in SMS messaging, you’ll want to continue reading. 

Creating an omnichannel experience wouldn’t be complete without text message marketing. It’s the bridge that fills the gap between every experience your customers have with your brand. From sending messages to customers when they are near your physical stores, to reminding them about a discount code they can redeem online — SMS messages enhance your shopping experience. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what SMS messages are and a few ways they can help create a seamless shopping experience. 

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover: 

  • What SMS messages are and what you need to know about them
  • Ways SMs messages can enhance the customer experience
  • How sending discount and coupons codes can bring the in-store and digital worlds together
  • The benefits of using location-based SMS technology
  • How SMS messages can help improve your customer service

What is SMS messaging? 

SMS stands for Short Message Service. The easiest way to think about it is that SMS messages are a form of text message that companies can send to their customers. As long as a customer has a mobile device and can receive text messages, they can receive SMS messages. 

One thing that is important to put out is that SMS messages limit the amount of content you can share with subscribers. 160 characters are the maximum length when it comes to writing SMS messages. That means you need to be direct and get straight to the point when using this communication channel to reach customers. 

SMS messaging is actually one of the top ways consumers want to receive updates from the brands they follow. That puts it above email, app notifications, and direct mailing. Image courtesy of FinancesOnline

When talking about text message marketing, it is important to know that there is a second type of message that can be sent via mobile devices: MMS. 

MMS stands for multimedia message service. These types of text messages allow you to send additional multimedia with your text-based messages. This could be pictures, audio, or video files. 

While this article will focus mainly on utilizing SMS messages in your marketing plan, you can use both to enhance your shopping experience. 

If you plan on using text messages as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to ensure you are following all opt-in regulations. Here are a few best practices to get you started: 

  • Always get permission from new subscribers
  • Let your subscribers know what to expect from your company
  • Don’t send too many messages and make sure to let them know how many to expect ahead of time
  • Provide a simple option to opt-out of your program

It’s very important that your customers opt-in to your mobile messages and that you provide them with insight into what communication you’ll be sending them. Image courtesy of Listrak

With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at how SMS messages can help you improve the overall shopping experience for your customers. 

How can SMS messaging enhance customer experience? 

SMS messages are a great add on to your other marketing tactics and can help build an omnichannel marketing experience. With the help of mobile devices, in-store and digital shopping can become one comprehensive experience. 

SMS messages are a great way to reach your customers and create a multichannel experience. Whether they signed up through a website promotion or in-store signage, it’s another way to communicate with your customers. Image courtesy of Listrak

By using multiple different avenues, you can build brand awareness and loyalty by providing a seamless customer experience. SMS messaging is a great option when you’re looking to bridge the gap between in-store, digital, and mobile shopping. 

It’s simple and can be a great way to supplement your other marketing tactics. Let’s take a look at a few different ways SMS messages can enhance your customer shopping experience. 

Offer Discounts for Joining Online and In-Store

When it comes to engaging with your customers via text message marketing, you need to first build a subscriber list. One of the best ways to do this is by promoting your SMS program on your website and social media channels, as well as in-store signage. 

Asking someone to provide an email address is common practice these days, but people are often a bit more hesitant to provide a cell phone number. That means you need to provide them with something of value to them in exchange for their contact information.

One way to entice people to provide you with their contact information is to provide them with a coupon or incentive. In fact, 55% of people place coupons and incentives as the top reason to subscribe to a company’s SMS program. 

Coupons can help incentivize your customers to provide you with their cell phone number. Once they have opted-in, you have the go-ahead to communicate and share your content with them. Image courtesy of Listrak

Offering a discount to your customers for signing up will help enhance their experience by providing them with a reason to make a purchase. That discount might be enough to encourage them to complete their sale, or visit your website at a later time and make another purchase. 

Just keep in mind, you want the process to be as seamless and well throughout as possible. Keep a consistent feel and message from one marketing channel to the next and you’ll begin to build brand awareness and more comprehensive customer experience. 

Send SMS Messages Based on Location

SMS messages provide another benefit in the fact that you can use geo-tracking to know where customers are. This can be beneficial for your segmentation, but it can also open an opportunity to reach customers in the general vicinity. 

Capture the location of your customers and improve your list segmentation. It will allow you to provide them with a more personalized experience and promote things happening at their local store. Image courtesy of Neil Patel

What that means is that if you know a customer is near one of your stores, you can send them a text message inviting them to come into your physical store. It’s as simple as setting an area range and when your customers are in that range, they will receive a message from your company. 

Whether you send another discount or let them know about a sale happening that day — your company will be on their mind. It’s a great way to bring them into your store, especially if you are in a retail mall or shopping center.

Knowing the location of your customers will also help you know what customers to promote regionally based sales and events to. For example, if you’re having a grand opening of a new store, you can send a message to all of your subscribers in that area and let them know to join you. 

Location-based text messages can be used across a variety of industries. From encouraging customers to stop into a retail store to making the check-in process at hotels and resorts easier than ever. Image courtesy of Salesforce

The example above is another great way to utilize SMS messages to improve your customer’s experience. While it isn’t directly selling anything to your customer, it is still using location-based data to help them easily check-in to their hotel — combining the in-person and digital experience. 

Improve Customer Service

SMS messages are a perfect way to help improve customer services because they provide a simple way to interact with subscribers. These messages allow for a two-way conversation, which means you can communicate directly with your customers. 

Sending a text message and getting a quick response may be all a customer needs to motivate them to make a purchase with your company. It can also help build brand loyalty and

Here are a few examples of how you can use SMS messages to interact with your customers on a more personal level: 

  • Send surveys and polls to ask subscribers for feedback
  • Allow people to send questions to your customer service team via text message
  • Use SMS messages to send order confirmations and shipping and delivery details
  • Send important reminders right to their mobile devices 

SMS messages are the preferred way for customers to be reminded about an appointment or upcoming event. These types of reminders are just one way that text messages can provide your customers with a better experience. Image courtesy of HindSite

When you consider that 78% of people wish they could use text messages to communicate with businesses, it’s easy to see how this method will improve your customer service. Encouraging your customers to communicate with your company in this manner will improve their overall experience with your brand. 

Provide Your Customers With an Enhanced Shopping Experience 

With text message marketing, it’s easier than ever before to provide your customers with an enhanced shopping experience — both digitally and in-store. You have the ability to reach customers whenever, wherever and provide them with the information they want and need. 

From sending coupons and discounts to upping your customer service game, SMS messages are an invaluable tool. If you’re looking for a way to provide your customers with effective omnichannel marketing experiences, then SMS messages should be first on your list. 

Comments & Leave a Comment

comments

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex March 31, 2020 at 06:02

SMS is a good way of marketing, as almost 50% of people read it. Also, it’s really a good way to maintain customer relationships.

Reply

Nicki March 31, 2020 at 15:00

Hey Klaus, Agree it’s such an overlooked marketing tool. I am growing pretty rapidly with my insurance advice channel and have been thinking I need to get text marketing to connect people with companies .SMS can be a great way to reach new customers .
Nicki recently posted… Make revenue from my website

Reply

obsidian April 1, 2020 at 22:38

SMS is a great added feature for many online stores.

Reply

 

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: