How SMS Marketing Can Increase Ecommerce Sales - ChicagoShipper

With text messages receiving a 98 percent open rate versus 20-30% for email, e-commerce businesses are leveraging SMS marketing to foster deeper relationships with their customers. When used correctly, this marketing channel can be extremely beneficial. Continue reading to learn the fundamentals of using SMS messages in e-commerce. 

SMS Marketing Definition 

SMS marketing is a method of disseminating promotional messages through permission-based text messaging. Customers are usually required to opt into an automated system by texting an initial short code to receive text messages from e-commerce businesses, such as specials or new product updates. 

Consider SMS to be your secret marketing tool for encouraging your audience to interact with you on their mobile devices. For far too long, e-commerce companies have spoken at their customers rather than to them. SMS marketing enables you to interact with your customers on a more personal level. 

Are SMS messages found as an effective marketing tool? 

SMS messaging, like any other method of customer outreach, can be extremely effective when done correctly. There is a growing emphasis on mobile, which drives more potential than ever before. 

With 87 percent of millennials always carrying a powerful mini-computer, merchants now have an additional channel to build trust and loyalty with their customer base. 

The first thing 80 percent of millennials do when they wake up is check their phone. Their phones are always nearby and ready to be used for anything from searching for information to checking the most recent social media updates. Furthermore, text message open rates far outnumber email open rates (which dwindles at 24 percent). 

Moreover, the average time for a recipient to open an SMS text message is 3 minutes, whereas the average time to respond to an email is 90 minutes. If you send an abandoned cart text, they will open it faster and hopefully act faster. 

Big Advantages of SMS Marketing 

Sending text messages to online shoppers has numerous advantages. SMS marketing is being used by high-growth e-commerce brands for limited-time offers, new product launches, cart abandonment reminders, and other purposes. 

  • Simple to Track 

Monitoring SMS marketing campaigns are trackable in the same way that Google Adwords or Facebook campaigns are. You can gain analytical insights into what works and what does not work. What you do next will be determined by your copy, offer, and conversion rates. 

  • A High Level of Engagement 

As previously stated, four out of every five millennials open their SMS texts first thing in the morning and have their phone with them at all times. 

  • Quick Delivery 

Text messages are transmitted quickly. You can send messages instantly and receive clicks within minutes. You can keep your brand at the forefront of shoppers’ minds by tracking when they visited your store or abandoned a cart. 

  • Simple to Use for a Variety of Purposes 

SMS marketing for e-commerce is simple to set up and even simpler to begin sending messages to customers. The use cases are limitless, ranging from sales to full cart reminders. It is up to you to think outside the box to provide a unique and engaging mobile experience. 

Tips on Sending Your First Marketing SMS 

When and if you’re ready to launch your first marketing SMS campaign, you must first become acquainted with the rules that allow e-commerce marketers to use this channel. 

As a result, obtaining opt-ins is the first step in launching your new SMS marketing campaign. Vanity shortcodes (e.g., “Text YES to Store Name.”) are typically the most effective for brand recognition and offer the least amount of friction (e.g., “Text YES to Store Name.”) 

  1. Establish your company’s objectives or goals. 

SMS marketing, if done correctly, will quickly become one of your top revenue-generating channels. However, as a merchant, you must define clear KPIs (key performance indicators), which will frequently center on metrics such as subscriber growth, new revenue driven, and new opt-ins. 

  1. Begin growing your subscribers. 

The next step is to put a system in place to start growing your subscriber list, also known as your money list. There are numerous methods for rapidly growing your list, including paid acquisition tools, email communication with current subscribers, and more. 

  1. Segment your subscribers and send them the appropriate message. 

You can set up an SMS marketing drip campaign to target new subscribers with a welcome message, set up an abandoned cart reminder text, or target consumers who haven’t purchased any new items in the last 30 days by leveraging your existing buyer data. 

Top Strategies for SMS Marketing 

There are numerous methods for getting started with SMS marketing. Here are some helpful hints for increasing conversions and driving more sales. 

  • Make use of segmentation and tags. 

Custom segments and tags, similar to those found in your favorite email provider, can be used to target your customers. For example, for an SMS marketing campaign, target customers who haven’t purchased in the last 60 days and have an average order value (AOV) of $50 or more. 

  • Send cart abandonment reminders. 

Because the average cart abandonment rate is around 75%, you must reduce your chances of losing out on high-intent customers. Consumers are juggling a lot of things at once, and it’s up to you as a merchant to remind them and make it simple for them to complete their purchases. 

  • Pose a question to your customers. 

Send out a poll or a short survey to customers asking what they think about your most recent product launch, brand redesign, or anything else you believe will help you with client engagement and acquisition. 

  • Initiate a giveaway. 

We’ve seen successful merchants entice customers to join their VIP club and gamify the entire experience to increase engagement on their Facebook page or store page. 

A mini optimized landing page for your VIP customers to receive special offers and enter giveaways through an exclusive text club is a simple thing to set up. 

  • Have distinct CTA (call to action) buttons. 

To higher-value customer targets, try offering limited-time promotions or flash sales. Many successful merchants will treat their mobile subscribers as “VIPs,” providing them with exclusive mobile-only offers or first access to new product launches and/or sales. 

  • Create messages that are simple, understandable, and brief. 

Get to the point quickly and keep your text messages short. Don’t be afraid to use emojis whenever possible to engage the customer and personalize the offering and message. 

  • Send it when customers will be able to act on it. 

Plan the timing of your automated SMS marketing campaigns carefully to ensure that you remain top-of-mind even after the consumer has left your website. Avoid sending in the middle of the night and instead experiment to see when your audience is most responsive. 


As the landscape becomes more competitive, the state of e-commerce continues to evolve. Increased ad costs and new online competitors are putting pressure on merchants. As a result, teams are becoming leaner, larger merchants are laying off employees, and smaller startups are at ease running lean and leveraging technology to achieve results with less. 

Traditional enterprise marketing software is designed and built for large teams with big plans and big upfront costs for campaigns and technology investments. The new breed of advanced and rapidly expanding merchants wants software that simply works. 

The first step is to ask the consumer for permission, and from there you can determine certain workflows based on online consumer behavior of not only when to send, but also what message to send to them.