Text messaging is a valuable tool for retailers, and as businesses transition to mobile commerce apps, they can get access to in-app SMS services that can simplify how they interact with their customers and improve their marketing initiatives. Text messaging can be used for several key purposes in order to reach customers more effectively, making it essential as an integrated feature for your retail mobile app.
Advantages of SMS
Compared to other methods of communication, text messaging has several advantages. Nearly everyone has a smartphone that can receive text messages and they are frequently willing to give their number to receive text notifications. Texts can be easily automated and sent out in bulk or to specified recipients. They can send useful content including text, hyperlinks, and images.
Texts alert the user immediately, leading them to view the message and potentially respond quickly; 90% of text messages are read within three minutes, and according to HubSpot, texts commonly receive a response in about 90 seconds, compared to 90 minutes for an email. Getting customers to view marketing or other announcements immediately creates urgency and gets a better rate of response or conversion.
Texting is such a common activity that customers may respond well to it. According to ZipWhip’s State of Texting Report, 52% of consumers prefer text marketing over email or phone calls. However, brands do need to be concerned with the potential for overuse, leading to customers disabling or blocking messages.
Important Use Cases for In-App Texts
Brands with their own mobile commerce app can use in-app text messaging for practical purposes. Integrated SMS messages can be automated and tied to app activities to give feedback to customers when they use the app. They can be configured from the app admin interface rather than relying on a separate SMS database technology.
One vital use of SMS is to send personalized messages related to customer orders. Customers can get a text message confirming receipt of order and payment, notification of shipping or delivery time, and a notification when the order has been fulfilled. Texts are better than email or even push notifications for this purpose. Having a text with all key information will be appreciated by customers, providing instant feedback of the status of their orders without having to check the app.
Texting can also be a preferred method of two-way communication for customer support. Customers should be able to communicate with store employees if they have questions about products or issues with their orders. Employees can respond at any time even if they are unavailable for a phone call, and customers may be more comfortable communicating this way.
SMS is a common tool for marketing in the retail industry. Brands can share new discounts and deals by sending hyperlinks and QR codes to customers. Advertising campaigns are a powerful tool; however, advertising via SMS is regulated carefully and generally requires permission from carriers to be used at a large scale.
Text notifications can also be used for announcements and news to customers. They can announce new products and categories being offered, or major changes and expansions to the app. Updating customers on new store policies has been an important requirement for businesses who have been under constant upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic and need to communicate changes to their customers.
Integrating with your Mobile App
Integrating your text messages with your mobile app saves work and lets employees manage them effectively. Fully integrating your online commerce platform, your data analytics, and your customer database with your communications tools will enable you to track your communications with customers so you only send messages to those who are receptive and can measure the results.
Giving customers speedy, clear messages is a critical feature for mobile and eCommerce sales. Whether for engaging with customers or providing rapid feedback on their purchases, the convenience of integrated SMS service is useful to all online businesses.