How to Drive More Sales with SMS Marketing in Shopify: 5 Ways That Work

Email marketing, the next closest in line is very far away with a mere average of 15%.

98% open rates. 

Yes, you read that correctly. SMS marketing leads the line when it comes to marketing tools out there. Email marketing, the next closest in line is very far away with a mere average of 15%

Why do the numbers look like this? It’s simple – text messages are personalized and actionable, much more so than emails who often end up read but left at that. Other marketing channels have the same problem – they come packed with sales-driven messaging, that turn customers off and are not easily digestible. In comparison, text messages are small bits of information that also get read instantly due to the ease of people always being close to their cell phone. 

Whether you’re an experienced eCommerce brand or just starting to lean into the world of Shopify, this platform dominates the marketplace with 1.6M stores worldwide and a 22% market share. One of the best things about it is the possibility to create a one-stop shop for your online store, product sourcing and communicating with your shoppers at each stage of their customer journey. 

That said, building the right pathway in the online customer journey that triggers an increase in sales is key to having an online store.

Below are 5 ways that will help you reach your customers at every single point in their shopping journey through SMS marketing.

1. Company notifications

Having a powerful marketing tool available doesn’t mean you should solely use it to push out marketing ads to your audience. In fact, a large part of our customers’ success at Cartloop is due to the fact that we use it as a means to building strong customer connections. To us, it’s more about providing value rather than the Ad quota. 

You could use texting as a way to send out shipping updates or order confirmations. The key is to notify clients about what you already know they want to hear about. Then, your branded text becomes an asset rather than being ignored. 

Take a look at this example below - providing value through your communications takes the marketing side out and focuses on using SMS as a tool to support your clients rather than pushing out sales messages.

2. Follow up on abandoned carts

Did you know that almost 90% of online shopping carts are abandoned?  

Sometimes, an abandoned cart can be recovered by reaching out to the consumer and reminding them to complete their purchase through an email. This is an efficient practice when the reasons why customers didn’t complete a sale are unrelated to the retailer and they just need a gentle reminder to return to the website. 

But email only gets you that far. If your customer has found something that prevents them from completing the purchase, they have two options. First, they can go to a different online store and get a similar product from there. Second, they can reach out to you through email, wait for a few days to get a reply, then perhaps email you back and the waiting game begins again. Safe to say your customer doesn’t like the second option, so they are very likely to go buy elsewhere. 

That’s where conversational SMS marketing will bridge the gap to lead you to a final sale. By infusing the human touch to your customers’ digital experience, you are not only offering value, but also building solid relationships with them that will lead you to your goal: increasing your sales.  

Let’s take a look at one of our clients’ situation - a global department store with a distribution network across the US, Europe and Asia noticed that more than 50% of their traffic was coming from mobile devices. The bold statistics of conversational SMS marketing got their attention, so they partnered up with us to figure out what the customers’ pain points really were. Why were so many of them abandoning their shopping carts? 

Within a week, we understood the root causes of cart abandonment, and moreover, we gave them insight into how adjusting the buyer experience would help increase the cart recovery rate.  Take a look at what we learned: 

We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. Within 7 days, these were the results:

  • $4,512.30 Cartloop generated sales
  • 1.451 conversations 
  • 245 carts recovered
  • 42% reply rate
  • 81.13% conversion rate - percentage of people who purchased after clicking on the link
  • 8358 new SMS subscribers via checkout
  • 2 unsubscribed

More than the increase in sales, the most valuable insight this brand received was clear reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. They then went on to fine tune their UX, add payment methods and adjust their shipping costs. 

Reaching out to these customers in an easy, non-intrusive way, where they connected with the customer on a personal level was what ultimately made the difference.

(Psst, we wrote about following up on abandoned carts in detail here, if you want to get to the nitty gritty about text messages your shoppers will love) 

Even with these statistics though, most consumers are open to follow through on their abandoned carts if only brands would reach out with a unique offer or personalized content. A friendly SMS checking in and perhaps offering a discount coupon may just be what the customer is looking for.  

3. Announce back in stock items

It’s common practice for stores to announce back in stock items or highlights of new inventory. However, customers usually get an email. And let’s face it, most of us delete it (even if we open it), or, like many of us do, we use a tool to block promotional emails. This is why your email open rates decline – your customers don’t even see them anymore. 

In contrast, over 90% of text messages open up within 15 minutes. So why not use this tool to announce – and this is very important – personalized back in stock items. If you know your client was looking at that gold watch that wasn’t in stock or that pair of shoes that has been sold out for the past 6 months, send them a text message to let them know their favourite item is back. They’ll be glad you did!

4. Offer product recommendations

During the past month we’ve been working with an Australian skincare brand that offers high quality products, whose ingredients are sourced locally. 

Being in an extremely competitive industry, the brand was very keen on their customers receiving the best support at every stage of the buyer’s journey. One of the key issues of the brand was that customers had various product-related questions, including educating customers on the benefits of using them. 

We all have different skin types and preferences, hence when acquiring a new product, we want to ensure it’s going to fit perfectly in our routine.

Questions like “Will it fix my dark pigmentation?” or “Which is the most suitable product for dry skin and congested skin?” need professional, careful and instant replies. This is where Cartloop experts come in very handy.

Our team carefully crafts every response to include product recommendations specific to each customer – as they should, since we answer in real-time. 

Don’t believe us? Take a look at a screenshot from a real conversation below.


5. Carry out satisfaction surveys 

This one is very personal to us. 

The initial idea of a platform like this goes back a few years. When Cartloop’s founder, Andrei, started his eCommerce business, he tried and tested every automation tool available – yet somehow, shoppers were still abandoning their carts at an increasing rate. Data was also missing – there was no reason for which this was happening, so Andrei did something out of the box: he decided to personally text these customers and find out for himself what went wrong.

The results were unexpected. While there were some recurring reasons for which the customers had abandoned their purchase initially, after talking to a real person from the company that cared about what they had to say, the majority of shoppers returned to complete the purchase.

It was, as we like to say, a lightbulb moment. 

Text marketing nowadays is mainly automated, and mainly one way. There is no point in offering your customer a discount code, if the reason he abandoned his cart was, for example – the fact that he couldn’t use his credit card.

Looking at that, think about what you can find out by reaching out to your consumers. Happy clients keep the motor running of every business. When you know exactly what they want (and also what they don’t like), you can fine tune your customer service, your product lines and even your platforms’ features.  

Carrying out satisfaction surveys via text message is likely to yield a reply due to the ease of use, for which customers are willing to reply.  

Satisfaction surveys don’t always have to mean you’re asking customers about negative experiences. You might also want to know what’s working, so you can continue doing it! We can tell you from experience, that nobody ever complains when someone asks if everything went according to plan - or if there was any trouble. 

What you should also keep in mind is that these responses should be acted upon, especially when customers take time to provide you with negative feedback. It is a valuable resource as to what (if anything) isn’t working for your store.

Key takeaways

When you use text messages as part of your marketing tactics, always remember that they should be a two-way street. People aren’t interested in being bombarded with marketing ads pushing them into buying something, especially more so on a channel like SMS that is highly personal. What your customers are interested in though, is information and value. Mix those two together and your text marketing becomes elevated. 

So go the extra mile. Do more. Want to know how to send text messages with superhuman powers? Sign up for a 14-day trial with Cartloop and let us know how it goes!

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