It’s no secret that customers use their phones for almost everything, including online shopping. In 2021, Statisa reported m-commerce sales (also known as mobile commerce sales ) exceeded 360 billion dollars. Experts predict this will double by 2025, to a total of 710 billion dollars.
Not only can SMS marketing increase sales, but it strengthens customer loyalty, expands brand awareness, and boosts confidence in your business.
SMS marketing is a powerful tool that doesn’t require a lot of investment. Research has shown text messages have a 97% read rate, 15 minutes after delivery. This is one of the most effective ways to reach customers today.
Many people actually prefer reading a text instead of a marketing email. 47% of consumers said that because their email inboxes were overflowing, they preferred SMS marketing. It provides them flexibility, allowing them to read it on their own time.
Text messages can also be key during the post-purchase cycle. Sending a message when a customer has just submitted an order, letting them know a package is on its way or updating them on a return helps provide transparency and increases retention.
But, what’s the best way to go about using SMS marketing to retain your buyer? Here are a few strategies to increase customer confidence in purchases and returns:
Drive efficiency and transparency
First, when including a new customer in SMS marketing, make sure you’re protecting their privacy, by complying with legal requirements for opt-in messages.
Alerting the customer immediately after a purchase improves assurance in your company. Not only does it offer the promise of a smooth process, but it also keeps your brand at the top of their mind. Be sure to include relevant information like an order number or tracking information.
Keep communication open by sending delivery updates. This gets customers excited to see the product in real life. Additionally, if there are any issues with delivery of the product, you can immediately connect them with a support line, bringing positivity to an otherwise potentially negative situation.
Following up the order with a thank you message, accompanied by a discount code or additional perk ensures customer retention. If they’ve saved an item in their cart, you can follow up a couple of days later with a discount code or a “don’t forget to finish your purchase” reminder.
If a return is being processed, keeping them updated on the return status will assure them that it will be an easy experience without any hassle.
With SMS marketing, it’s not only about what you’re delivering but how you’re delivering the message. Keep content short and to the point. Not only will this make campaign planning easier but it sustains the customer’s attention.
Inform and inspire
Use SMS marketing to inform and connect further with your target audience. Once your customer has made a purchase, sending them a link to common FAQs, care tips or providing additional information about a product helps educate your customer about why your company matters to them.
You can also provide data about sizing or augmented reality tools like “virtual try on”, which helps cut down on returns.
Navigating the return process
It’s a common situation that buyers will want to return or exchange their item – 40% of e-commerce sales end in a return. If a customer does decide to start a return, making it a seamless process is beneficial. A 2020 survey found that 76% of first time buyers with an easy return experience planned to shop there again.
Providing information like multiple ways to return items and eco-friendly options (like returnless refunds) can leave customers feeling positive about the experience.
Additionally, offering a return label with easy drop-off or instant exchanges can help improve the process.
Loop’s Attentive integration features a SMS-first software platform which delivers real-time, personalized text messages based on common return scenarios that occur in Loop’s hassle-free return and exchange workflow. Attentive’s alerts include:
- Confirmation you received their return
- Confirmation the refund was processed
- The time frame of when they should see the funds in their account
- An alert when an exchange item is out of stock or back in stock
- An alert when the label a customer has printed for their package is close to expiring, but they have yet to ship their package. Our integration sends an additional notice when the label has expired.
- Notice that they haven’t yet sent back an exchanged item, which incurs a charge for the item if they don’t drop it in the mail.
Gather vital data
Whether issuing a return or processing a purchase, customer reviews and insights helps close the feedback loop. Send a text message with a survey asking customers what made them decide to buy or return an item. Zero in on their thoughts on the quality or design.
What made them decide to purchase it? This gives you insight into behavioral data – the type of customer is choosing to read your messages. This will help you better segment your audience. It also helps the customer feel like their opinion matters.
SMS marketing allows you to collect zero party data. This is information your customer has directly shared with you which allows you to personalize their experience. You can even make the marketing campaign a conversation, by asking the customer to respond or creating interactive quizzes about your products.
You can also provide links to videos or articles which explain the production process or care tips for their product. This increases transparency and (provided your tone isn’t too pushy) will improve the customer relationship.
Cross-selling and upselling
Once the customer has made a purchase, look for additional opportunities to connect. Cross-selling is an important way to increase sales and improve retention. Upselling is a great way to boost engagement by selling add-ons (often higher end products). If the item features a subscription, like toothbrushes, pet food or vitamins, send them a reminder text to reorder.
Customers will feel like you’re invested in their wellbeing. Invitations to loyalty programs help retain buyers because they enjoy the extra perks or savings. Early access to sales or special events can also make customers feel valued.
Want to learn more about how Loop can help you improve the sales experience and turn returns into exchanges and retain more revenue? Check out a demo.