18 June 2020
Integrations 101: Best ecommerce platforms for SMS
From marketing automations to administrative efficiencies, there’s not a lot that ecommerce platforms don’t do these days. The choices are overwhelming for budding ecommerce businesses wanting to take their business to new heights. With ecommerce predicted to rise to $4.9T by 2022, it’s important that store owners choose the best platforms that suit their needs, but also allow them to stay ahead of the pack.
Why use SMS messaging with your eCommerce platform
It can be a busy, and overwhelming job running your ecommerce store. On any one day, you might be nurturing quality prospects, finding the right products to sell, converting and retaining paying customers, and managing supply disruptions or external issues. That’s why you want to find the right platform that will have the best choice of tech partners.
SMS services have long been used by bricks and mortar businesses to create personalised customer service experience beyond the shop floor. It’s no surprise then that ecommerce businesses are adding it as a marketing channel to give customer communications that extra, special touch.
SMS is the perfect communication tool to integrate into your ecommerce platform. Not only does it cut through the clutter with a 98% open rate, it has 8x the response rate of email. Its familiar, low-cost technology allows you to reach 3.5B people in the world today. You can even create automated workflows so you can set your broadcasts (reminders, promotions) and forget.
Learning how to use it is easy. With MessageMedia, you need only sign up for a free trial account, and get 25 free texts to play with almost immediately. Most importantly, when choosing an SMS provider, whether that’s MessageMedia or someone else, make sure they integrate with the top ecommerce platforms. Explore our integrations marketplace to see what kinds of workflows you can create right now.
4 popular eCommerce platforms to use with SMS
If you’re using SMS to optimise your customer experience and increase sales, we’ve got the top ecommerce platforms to help you get the most out of it.
There’s no wonder that Shopify has almost 20% market share when it comes to ecommerce. If you can believe it, Shopify was launched to optimise the online customer experience when buying snowboard equipment. As one of the largest, and most popular ecommerce platforms, it was a no-brainer when MessageMedia partnered with Shopify to build a direct integration.
The benefits of using Shopify:
- Easy to set up and use straight away
- Great for selling one or a few products
- Visually appealing, and intuitive to your customer’s needs
- Familiar, easily recognisable to customers
- Mobile adaptive and responsive
- Reliable and fast
- Excellent customer service
- Easy payment options available
SMS has proved particularly useful when converting leads, but also in reducing abandoned carts. Late last year, MessageMedia launched a direct integration called SMS Marketing Automation onto Shopify’s App Store. This means you can now install our integration directly into the Shopify platform in order to enjoy an SMS solution.
Here are some you can do right now if you are a Shopify owner:
- Collect customer information and phone numbers early on
- Reduce cart abandonment with follow-up text messages
- Drive conversions with follow-up text messages that contain discount codes
- Increase the distribution and urgency of promotional offers
- Have two-way conversations and get immediate feedback from customers
- General communications and updates
2. Netsuite SuiteCommerce
Founded in 1998, Netsuite was first on the scene in providing cloud computing software solutions for finance, operations and customer relations. Not only did they create an ecommerce solution, but they also created tech solutions for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and professional services automation (PSA).
Basically, you name it – they made it first.
Netsuite’s ecommerce offering is called SuiteCommerce. Because of how easily it integrates into Netsuite’s other widely used commercial tools, some consider SuiteCommerce one of the best omnichannel options out there for B2C and B2B businesses.
The benefits of using Netsuite’s SuiteCommerce:
- If you want to manage different stores, with different purposes, but under one brand name or account
- Easy, one-click integration with other Netsuite tools
- Intuitive website themes and website customisation
- Merchandising capabilities not seen on other platforms
- Easy use of multiple currencies
- Fantastic scalability
If you’re already using other Netsuite tools, then choosing to use Netsuite’s SuiteCommerce is optimal.
MessageMedia saves us time and money. We have a national transport fleet, we now send SMS to drivers instead of calling. Our staff spend much less time on the phone, which has improved productivity and reduced costs.
Brian Lunn, Transpacific Industries
MessageMedia has built a direct integration of their SMS product into Netsuite’s ecommerce platform. Here’s what you can do with it:
- Enhance customer communications with 2-way SMS for returns and refunds, post-sale surveys and support
- Drive more sales and better marketing with faster lead follow-ups, special promotions, in-stock notifications
- Improve cash flow and billings with automated purchase receipts, statement notifications and pay reminders
- Boost loyalty and engagement with personalised, streamlined and automated bulk batch sends
RELATED: See a demo of our integration with Netsuite’s SuiteCommere platform here.
Magento is an eCommerce alternative that is often overlooked next to larger competitors, including enterprise-focused Netsuite and all-in-one Shopify. It should not be left from your consideration given its unique offering in the ecommerce space.
First developed in 2007 as a sub-system to another ecommerce solution, Magento rose to popularity with 500,000 downloads within its first year. It was recently bought out by Adobe and continues to be used by top-market brands including Coca Cola, Canon, Hermes and Nike.
So why do people like it so much?
Like the WordPress CMS platform, Magento is open source. Unlike other platforms, Magento offers a permanently free version (Community) for anyone to use. Magento allows developers full access to customise the code and extend the functionality of the platform.
DEFINE: Open source – Most software is built out of code, and generally this is protected (closed source) so that competitors cannot steal or copy. Some projects allow anyone to access, view and modify their ‘source code’ because they want to democratise participation and use. They might also value transparency and want to adhere to an ‘open standard.’ Opensource talks about it in more detail.
Besides being open source, here are some other benefits to using Magento:
- Businesses have full control over their websites
- Similar full range of functions to Shopify and Netsuite
- Scalable and secure
- Fantastic customer support
- Mobile adaptable and flexible
- Endless extensions and integrations
Magento is recommended to those wanting to invest in a platform that gives them full customisation over their website and store.
There is currently no direct integration for Magento and MessageMedia. In order to connect the two, you will need to use a connector integration platform like Zapier. This can be done in five minutes or less after setting up a free account.
RELATED: Read our write-up on how you can get started with direct integrations and Zapier integrations.
There are lots of ways you can use Magento with MessageMedia’s SMS solution such as:
- New products – notify customers or employees when a new product comes into stock
- New customers – get notified or send a welcome greeting when new customers make their first order
- Confirm orders – confirm a new order by sending the customer an SMS
- New orders – get alerted as soon as a new order comes in
- Invoices – get alerted when a new sales invoice arrives
Like Magento, WooCommerce also sits in the unique space as a self-hosted, open-source ecommerce platform. Used by almost 4M million ecommerce stores globally, it takes up a whopping 26% market share of all online stores. That’s pretty fantastic for what began as a simple WordPress plugin.
That’s right, WooCommerce isn’t exactly its own platform. It was built on the very popular, and widely used WordPress CMS that we mentioned before, hence its open-source heritage. Designed originally for small to medium sized businesses as well as larger online enterprises, it launched in 2011 – a few years after its competitors.
There are many benefits to using something like WooCommerce:
- Free to use (you have to pay for extras like hosting, themes etc)
- Easy to use for those without a lot of developer or tech experience
- Works on all devices and is mobile friendly
- Lots of plugins and integrations
- Secure and performs well
Those who picked WooCommerce likely did so because they had already built a website in WordPress. Instead of choosing a platform like Shopify and rebuilding your store, you can just install WooCommerce’s free plugin.
Again, like Magento – no direct integration has currently been built. However, you can build integration workflows through Zapier such as:
- Stay updated on new subscribers
- Keep on top of customer updates
- Stay on top of orders
- Manage discounts or coupons
- Be aware of inventory or product changes
Final notes and further reading
Choosing an ecommerce platform for your SMS integration isn’t easy. Take the time to do your research properly and find out which platforms will meet your specific needs. You might just want to get set up fast, or you may want to choose something that will work with what you have already built.
For further reading:
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