E-commerce is the future of commerce. Not least because our lives are increasingly taking place online. Even toasters and refrigerators are now part of the web.
In addition to industry giants like Amazon, small companies are also increasingly using the Internet to get their goods to their customers. Enormous growth figures and, since 2018, the opportunity to complete commercial training in e-commerce in Germany round off this good outlook.
At the same time, SMS remains the safest and most effective channel for reaching customers. With about 90% open messages within the first 5 minutes, SMS as a communication channel is far ahead of all competitors. E-mail, calls, WhatsApp etc. do not even come close to SMS when it comes to fast communication. In addition, SMS has a reputation of integrity. Spam via SMS is rather rare and in many countries even forbidden by law.
So here are our top 5 reasons why you should use SMS to make your e-commerce channel even more successful and effective.
Reason 1: Integrity and security.
We are more likely to trust a company that secures our data with additional steps. That’s not surprising. 2-factor authentication (2FA) increases the security of customer accounts and thus increases customer confidence in your company. For example, as the last step before completing a transaction, it also prevents the customer from “accidentally” sending his order.
Reason 2: Live order updates.
Order confirmations upon completion, current changes to the order status and (after the customer has received the goods) a short link to the evaluation page improve customer experience. Many online stores already email a link to package tracking when the goods are shipped. Sent by SMS, the link arrives safely and quickly at the customer instead of possibly ending up in the spam folder.
Reason 3: Creating a personal connection
Send personalized Christmas wishes as well as discount codes and other goodies to create a stronger personal bond. If your customers feel personally appreciated, they will continue to buy from you. Use the data you gain about your customers. For example, if you know a customer’s birthday, she will be happy to receive an SMS with congratulations and a voucher for her next purchase.
Reason 4: Answer questions quickly
It happens again and again that one finds an interesting product, but the description does not answer all questions. Build in a channel where customers can ask questions about the product. Fast and concise answers via SMS ensure that the customer does not have to delay his purchase decision for long. If your capacities allow it, the customer advisor can even put together a new shopping cart during the consultation and send it to the customer as a link via SMS.
Reason 5: News directly to your customer’s mobile phone
Are you planning a sale and want to draw your customers’ attention to it? The product that was out of stock at the last order is now available again? Inform your customers about current news, promptly and reliably via SMS. In the second example especially the customer will be happy. By analyzing buying behavior you can find out if a customer buys certain items very regularly. With these data you can then send targeted offers and news to this customer.
What else you need to consider
- As we described in an earlier article, relevance is the way to the future. It is not about reaching as many people as possible with spam advertising, but about offering your customers the most comprehensive and pleasant shopping experience possible.
- Don’t be hasty giving in to the temptation to use a chatbot. While automatic responses to customer inquiries take place with virtually no loss of time, quite often the responses are less than satisfactory. The image loss caused by an immature chatbot can outweigh the delay caused by personal answers to questions.
- RCS isn’t the new standard for business messaging yet. But it’s going in a very promising direction. The key is waiting for the right moment for upgrading from SMS to RCS, once the standard is available and sufficiently refined. It will improve customer the experience a lot.
Conclusion: SMS in e-commerce
SMS enrich customer experience in the e-commerce sector. Greater satisfaction, recommendations and long-term loyalty result in measurably higher sales. In other words, the question of whether investing in SMS solutions is worthwhile for e-commerce companies can only be answered with a loud and clear “YES”.
Update: To make your sending of SMS in e-commerce as straightforward as possible, we develop integrations for popular e-commerce platforms. You can find these and many more plugins on our integration page.
Header picture by Andranik Hakobyan via iStock.com