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How retailers can use SMS to gain a competitive advantage

Resources & Blog

How retailers can use SMS to gain a competitive advantage

How retailers can use SMS to gain a competitive advantage

February 2019 is a very important month for the retail industry. This is because it coincides with London Fashion Week, which runs from Friday 15th February until Tuesday 19th February. The event, featuring extravagant parties and catwalks, will contribute to a significant spike in retail spending. One way in which you can gain a competitive advantage and generate sales during this period is by using SMS marketing, which has grown in popularity in recent years. Business2community states that “texting right now is where email was in the late 1990s and where social media was just a decade ago".

Since consumers are now turning to mobile to make purchases, texting gives you the perfect way of getting your message across directly. Over the six-month period ending December 2018, 79% of smartphone users made some form of purchase using their mobile device. Imagine being able to send these users a quick text to inform them of a new sale or product launch? Well thanks to SMS marketing, you can do that very quickly and easily.

One major benefit of SMS marketing is that it provides you with a platform to increase sales, by targeting both loyal and new customers. This can be achieved through various campaign techniques, which we will discuss shortly. Having a strong SMS marketing strategy can increase sales due to its high open rates. Additionally, customers are likely to open your text campaigns quickly, with findings showing that 95% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes.

Before starting an SMS campaign, it is important to first understand the demographics of your customers. Perhaps you sell clothing aimed at teenagers? Or maybe you sell to over 60s? Retail has a wide audience and it is therefore key that your text messages have the right tone. Remember, 75 per cent of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS, rather than see adverts on mobile apps or whilst they're browsing the internet, so you already have a head start on generating sales. The next thing to do is to send out that first campaign and monitor the results! Below we look at four different ways that you could use SMS marketing to communicate with customers.

1 - New products or sales

With high street foot traffic falling considerably, consumers are now turning to mobile when purchasing goods. The expected worldwide sales using mobile devices in 2019 is forecasted to reach a staggering $2.32 trillion. You can capitalise on this shift in purchasing habits by promoting new products or sales to customers using SMS marketing, which has extremely high open rates. A quick text to your customers means that they can quickly access your website to view any new product lines or sales events, whilst also giving customers the perception that they have been given priority access. Below are some examples of how you could promote new products or a sale.

2 - Delivery & confirmation

SMS marketing can be used to send a delivery notification to customers once an order has been made. Sending a quick message means that customers are informed that their purchase has been successful and will also improve your after-sales service provided. The text message also gives customers an opportunity to amend a delivery date or time if there is an issue, which can go a long way in improving their purchase experience.

3 - Opening hours reminders

Another benefit of SMS marketing is that you can remind customers of your opening hours. This is particularly useful for bank holidays and periods such as Christmas or Easter. If you are temporarily extending your opening hours, it means that customers are informed that they have more hours to visit, potentially increasing footfall in your shop! However, if you are closing or have limited hours, it is also extremely important to inform customers. A recent report by PwC states that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, so you should do all you can to ensure they don’t turn up on a day in which you are closed. All it takes is one quick message!

4 - Loyalty reward system

SMS marketing presents a perfect opportunity for you to go paperless when providing customers with a loyalty reward system. Gone are the days in which you need to hand out and then stamp loyalty cards for each customer that visits! Using SMS means that you can now quickly inform loyal customers that they are eligible for a discount or free product and all they need to do is show their phone at checkout. This is a great way to increase foot traffic as findings show that SMS coupons are redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons and once you get customers inside your store then there is also the possibility of additional.

If you’re still struggling for ideas, then why not read our complete guide of events that are happening throughout 2019 which can be utilised for future campaigns.

Cutomer Account manager
Cutomer Account manager
by Josh Brooke | Business Development Executive

Hi, I'm Josh, Business Development Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in sales and marketing and I love interacting with different industries both domestically and worldwide, and seeing how they adapt to the ever-changing consumer.

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