Cross-Channel Marketing: Why SMS is an Essential Part of Your E-Commerce Strategy
Cross-channel marketing enables online brands and retailers to blend different communication channels to reach customers and create cohesive shopping experiences. In this article, we’ll look at the role of SMS in cross-channel marketing, and why it’s important in a holistic e-commerce strategy.
Cross-Channel Marketing and the Use of SMS in E-Commerce
From email inboxes to social networks, and across mobile phones and laptops, shoppers today move seamlessly from one channel to another to engage with brands. Google found that consumers shopping across multiple touchpoints have a 30 percent higher lifetime customer value than those who don’t. In relation, Aberdeen revealed that 51 percent of marketers use at least eight channels in delivering customer experience.
SMS is one of the touchpoints with increasing usage in online cross-channel marketing strategies. The latest data shows that worldwide, 69 percent of marketers leverage it. In 2020, the number of mobile messages sent increased 400 percent while the SMS conversion rate experienced a year-over-year growth of 102 percent.
5 Reasons Why SMS is an Important Channel for E-Commerce Brands
When done right, SMS can easily connect brands with consumers and convert them. Here are five compelling reasons why mobile messaging is now a must-have, rather than just a nice-to-have, for online brands and retailers.
1. Deliver Personalized Customer Journeys
While data varies, consumers check their phones roughly 80-150 times daily, on average, making mobile messaging more personal, immediate and direct. This isn’t, however, the only reason to use SMS for personalizing customer journeys. The reality is that shoppers simply expect it, and brands that don’t personalize communications are at risk of losing 52 percent of customers, according to a Salesforce survey.
To deliver only useful and relevant messages, Ulta encourages shoppers to complete their personal beauty profiles so that they will receive offers and information according to their individual preferences.
2. Strengthen Relationships With Loyal Customers
For 75 percent of consumers who already care about a brand, receiving text messages is something they’re open to. As a platform for boosting loyalty and retention, brands can keep shoppers in the loop with the latest updates on rewards — just like what Soko Glam is doing.
In addition, mobile messaging can be transformed into an exclusive channel with offers that are only available to shoppers enrolled in the SMS program. As a two-way conversational channel, brands can also use SMS to deepen relationships with customers through short surveys and collecting product feedback and customer reviews.
3. Reach Gen Z Shoppers Where They Are
From the U.S. to France, the latest survey from Periscope by McKinsey found that opened and read mobile messages encouraged high engagement levels with shoppers. This is especially true among younger consumers, or Gen Z, who are the first digital natives. Another report revealed that over 70 percent of 18-34 years old want the option to message with brands. Therefore, it’s crucial to highlight not only its exclusivity but also accessibility. Williams-Sonoma excels in communicating how easy and approachable it is to interact with this demographic using SMS.
4. Convert Shoppers on the Go
Some brands have already seen impressive results from SMS marketing, with clickthrough rates and conversion rates reaching 70 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Due to its straightforward nature, increasing the chances of a shopper's purchase is high, particularly if it’s done strategically.
For example, during the holiday season, Bloomscape sent a link that directly led users to the gift card purchase page, leaving no room for potential distractions or friction. Brands can improve on this by increasing text messages’ relevance with intent-based data that understands shoppers’ real-time intent.
5. Reduce Cart Abandonment
Mobile messaging can be a great tool for bringing shoppers back to the customer journey. A Gartner report found that when sending follow-ups, SMS open and response rates are 98 percent and 45 percent, respectively, performing better than emails’ corresponding figures of 20 percent and 6 percent.
Brands can send cart abandonment SMS reminders like what Uniqlo tells potential mobile messaging subscribers. Another SMS use case is allowing shoppers to easily access their carts anywhere they shop. With text alerts that rebuild carts, shoppers can pick up exactly where they left off and smoothly continue the shopping experience at any time and in any channel.
Leverage SMS Marketing to Strengthen Cross-Channel Marketing and Customer Engagement
SMS is one of the fastest-growing tools that e-commerce brands can use to boost customer interactions, loyalty and retention. It’s not only personalized, accessible and engaging, but has also proven to be effective in increasing conversions. Conversations are no longer limited to emails and social media platforms. As a highly effective communication channel, SMS completes a comprehensive and winning cross-channel marketing strategy.
Shani Weinstein is the vice president of brand at Namogoo, the world's first digital journey continuity platform, helping over 1,000 unstoppable brands shape their customer journeys to fit each and every shopper's needs.
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