SMS Marketing offers a direct route to your customers. The immediacy in which the average text message is read, as oppose to an email (Open rates for SMS marketing stand at 98% within 2 minutes, and just 22% for the lifetime of an email), tells only part of the story. More importantly in business, customers are much more likely to do something with it. A good ‘old-fashioned’ text messages can drive action. Retail, as an industry, has picked up on such promise and individual retailers can see the potential to drive conversions. Who doesn’t want to directly boost sales?
Here we take a look at 4 ways retailers can begin to get ahead, or even get started, using SMS marketing:
SMS marketing was made for customer feedback, as long as you have a strategy.
What type of feedback are you looking to receive as a retailer? If are you looking for qualitative data that you can make sense of and interpret, then a numerical scoring system might not be the right way to go. Asking ‘rate our product on a scale of 1-3’ probably won't give you any meaningful information.
Here’s a chance to get creative. Why not ask your customer 'In 20 words or less, what do you like about our product/service?' If you are feeling brave also ask ‘In 20 words or less, how can we improve our product/service?’
The success of customer feedback, via SMS or any other marketing channel, comes down to one fundamental truth: how easy can you make it for customers to give you feedback? If you add any level of complexity to the process, then it won’t work.
Make sure the way in which you ask for feedback is suited to your particular brand. Everything a retailer does communicate the type of business and products that you sell.
We all have our favourite brands, but we don’t always have the time to find out what they are up to and what new products they are about to launch. SMS marketing is a fantastic way to keep your customers ‘in-the-know’. New product launches, sales, and new season stock can all be placed in front of previous customers, and potential customers, by way of a text message. Customers who have opted into your SMS programme may almost be expecting it. Remember, we often don’t know what we want until we see it!
By making the sales cycle as transparent as possible for the customer, they are much more likely to experience the level of service you want to deliver.
We all make online purchases from time to time that simply aren’t right for us, so make the returns policy clear. When you have a customer who wants to return a product now, you have a much better chance of them using you again in the future, if you make the process of 'returns' simple. You could include costs, timescales, and exactly how little the purchaser needs to do. Again, this communicates your brand to the customer. Making the returns process less-than-straightforward also delivers a message too.
In today’s interconnected world we want everything now. If we can’t have it now, we want to know when we can have it.
When a product is out of stock, or has sold out quickly, why not let potential customers know when it will again become available. On occasions, when a product becomes scarce, it can, in fact, drive interest that may not have been there before. The added attention can be brought to a forefront of a consumers mind through a carefully planned SMS campaign.
SMS Marketing can help retailers to grow their businesses, in a way some tactics simply cannot. There is also a generation of shoppers who don’t yet have a smart phone, where a text message can still reach the target audience. We hope this has sparked a few ideas to make SMS marketing part of your overall retail marketing strategy.
Hi, I'm Adam, Customer Account Manager at Reach Interactive, with a background in digital and international marketing. I love everything to do with digital technology and improving communication between brands and their customers.
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