On the face, Simply for Strings may look like a product business who simply sells string instruments. They’re far more than that.
They are team of experienced musicians, music teachers, and educators with knowledge about string instruments – that also provide post-purchase customer care and support in the form of workshops, maintenance check-ins, and care packages.
Started in 2004 by Toby Cumpstay, Simply for Strings is now a booming ecommerce and retail music shop in Queensland, Australia. They chose Shopify to build their ecommerce shopfront on because it’s flexible, functional, and innovative.
Many customers who buy string instruments have a lot of questions before purchasing. Is this size right for my child? What bow do I start on? How do we care for the instrument?
According to Toby, it can be daunting to make expensive instrument purchases.
One challenge was being able to help these curious customers complete their purchase on their online store. They were seeing customers abandon checkout before completing an order. They looked for solutions to recover them.
When Toby received a text to remind him of a phone case he’d left behind at checkout, it got his attention. Then their discount code and free shipping tempted him back.
Their solution was clear: abandoned cart text message reminders.
Integrating SMS into their Shopify store was easy with the Sinch MessageMedia: SMS Marketing app. They were able to introduce SMS abandoned cart reminders to solve purchase issues.
Toby also wanted to explore SMS for customer support and personalisation. That’s where Toby brought in two further solutions: Michael, their Customer Success Manager, and a dedicated number.
Abandoned cart reminders.
While most abandoned cart reminders focus on the fastest path to purchase, that doesn’t always work for string instruments or a product of this nature. Instead, making customers feel confident about the purchase they’re making is more effective.
Reaching customers in the channel they prefer is also key. If customers have more questions, Michael can offer to give customers a call. Or he can ask for their email addresses if the answer requires written detail.
Here’s an example of a text message exchange between Michael and a curious customer.
Personalised BFCM SMS marketing.
Simply for Strings uses texting for other purposes such as post-workshop follow-ups, but perhaps more advantageously within their marketing strategy to achieve high impact sales drives.
On a roll, Simply for Strings also sent out a mass marketing text message to push their Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale.
They sent a text to their entire database of 18,000 customers. Within thirty minutes, customers were coming into the store and asking about the sale. In fact, customers who were in the store at the time read the message straight away.
We had people coming into the store with their phones and asking ‘Is this offer still available? I just got it.Toby Cumpstay, Co-Founder, Simply for Strings
While the sale was profitable, the message wasn’t personal. Their next step was segmenting their database. For example, if a buyer spent less than $250 in the last year, they probably didn’t purchase an instrument. But they can drill down on which instrument they’re into.
Based on these learnings, they personalised their BFCM text message to something like this:
If a customer did spend over $250AUD in the last year, they can dig into which instrument they own. For these buyers, it’s likely they’ve previously spent on a budget range instrument and may want to level up.
From their data and experience from years before, Toby knows that some buyers wait all year for the Black Friday Cyber Monday sales to upgrade.
With these insights in mind, they tweak their messaging to something like this.
Post-purchase care text messages.
While texting has been great for driving more purchases, SMS has also been helping Simply for Strings build lasting relationships with customers’ post-purchase. They don’t want customers to experience buyer’s remorse, after all.
That’s why Simply for Strings runs 10-day long sales and encourages customers to ‘shop slowly.’ Toby wants customers to ask lots of questions first, feel confident in their decision, and then make the purchase. There’s even a free trial period on instruments.
They also check in after three months and let them know when it’s time to bring their instrument in for a service. Customers can bring it into the shop, or they can teach them how to do it themselves. Of course, customers can opt out of receiving these text messages.
Overall, it’s about turning that initial product buy into a long-term customer. Texting helps them build these relationships from beginning to end.
Our results driven by SMS were excellent! The sale was the best we’ve ever had.Toby Cumpstay, Simply for Strings
When one text can cost just a few cents, the returns of SMS marketing can boom.
In one of Simply for Strings’ SMS campaigns, they sent around 500 cart reminders using our SMS integration with Shopify. This cost them less than $100AUD. Because most instruments they sell cost above $250AUD, their return was well over 1000x.
Knowing their customers had likely been exposed to their BFCM marketing on other channels (email, Meta, Google, word-of-mouth, or the website), they held back from ‘bombarding’ them with text messaging.
With only 4 days left of their 10-day BFCM sale, they sent another SMS. And with that, Toby’s personalised BFCM marketing campaign was a success.
- 13% click-through-rate, making up almost 20% of fulfilled orders
- 1102x ROI with sales up 60% from the previous year
- 37% above target
SMS delivered fast results, but also helped them achieve their long-term goal: trust. “It makes sense for all businesses. I know when people connect, they’re more likely to trust,” says Toby.
Toby does want to explore more ways to send personalised SMS. They want to dig into the data and go after the right segment with the right messaging. After all, this is better than throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks. Next on the docket is:
- Personalised campaigns
- Win-backs and re-engagement campaigns
- Personalised promotions
- Even longer post-customer care support
This can all be done by integrating Sinch MessageMedia: SMS Marketing for Shopify. If you want to start using SMS for your Shopify store, get in touch.
CompanySimply for Strings is an online musical instrument store for violins, violas, cellos, basses, bows, strings, and accessories.
CustomerToby Cumpstay, musician, and co-founder
- Abandoned cart reminders
- SMS marketing campaigns
- Customer support