Boost your sales with SMS for ecommerce.

Put the power of SMS to work to help build your ecommerce brand. Then, sit back and watch your sales skyrocket.

This article has been written by Amanda Ranville Amanda Ranville wrote in industries February 8, 2024
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If you sell things online, then it makes sense to add SMS to your sales and marketing strategy.

Here’s why. Mobile ecommerce sales are projected to top $710 billion in 2025. By 2024, there’ll be over 187 million mobile shoppers in the US alone. With more and more shoppers browsing and buying on their phones, it makes sense to connect with them on their phones, too.

Let’s take a deep-dive into the powerful potential of SMS for ecommerce so you can hit the ground running with your first text message.

First, what is SMS for ecommerce exactly?

New to the wonderful world of SMS marketing? We suggest you brush up on all the basics of SMS before you go any further. With the basics under your belt, you’ll soon see why it’s such a popular tool — and, indeed, such a natural fit — for ecommerce brands.

SMS marketing for ecommerce is all about using texts to support your broader marketing goals — like, winning new customers, nurturing existing customers, selling more stuff… the list goes on.

Below, we’ll explore the many benefits of SMS for ecommerce, before giving you a whole bunch of ideas for kick-starting your first campaign.

Here’s why every ecommerce leader embraces SMS.

The average person checks their phone a whopping 352 times per day. Given how frequently your customers’ eyeballs are on their screens, it’s a safe bet that your marketing messages will be seen if they’re sent via text.

But it’s not just about getting your messages seen (although, obviously, that’s a great start.) Here’s why ecommerce leaders love SMS as a marketing tool:

You can personalize every single message.

It’s incredibly easy to personalize your SMS campaigns using custom fields. Why bother? Customers today want to feel like they matter to you. In fact, 73% of shoppers want a more personalized experience that shows you understand their unique needs and expectations.

Smart segmentation allows you to build target groups based on buyer behavior. You can then dig into that data to send them enticing offers you already know they’ll love.

Even if you’re sending out a bulk SMS to large groups, you can personalize it using things like the customer’s name, location, and product preferences. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to show you care.

SMS is cost-effective and easy to use.

For a low-cost, convenient communications channel, nothing beats SMS for ecommerce. Plus, it pays. Data shows that texts clock up 36% click-through rates when part of integrated campaigns, and open rates of a staggering 98%.

And, behind the scenes, automation and bulk messaging capabilities lighten the load on your team — helping you reach a huge customer base in just a few clicks.

Messages are seen almost immediately.

When it comes to speed, SMS is way out in front. Texts are seen almost instantaneously, and their concise and immediate nature helps create a sense of urgency. This is a powerful strategy for ecommerce marketers, and that’s a fact.

It provides unparalleled customer support.

In ecommerce, where face-to-face interactions are non-existent, you need other ways to support your customers and make them feel loved.

Two-way SMS is a great channel for customer support — particularly for quick inquiries that are easily answered. In fact, when it comes to customer service, 76% of customers prefer SMS over other communication channels.

You can also use SMS to send automated updates about orders and delivery status. Or, if a customer has shown interest in a product that’s out of stock, set up automated SMS notifications to let them know when it’s available again.

Heard of Chatbox to SMS? Add it to your website to be able to move live chat conversations over to SMS. ­(And collect customer details along the way.)

It’s the little extras like these that help take the customer experience to the next level.

It aligns with your mobile commerce strategy.

As every ecommerce brand would know, the line between ‘e’ and ‘m’ (that is, mobile commerce) is pretty blurred these days. Mcommerce is growing fast, and the more mobile-friendly you make your business, the better. This, of course, includes marketing.

So, how can you use SMS to take advantage of the mcommerce boom? Simply set up mobile landing pages to promote sales or special deals. With your customers already on their phones, send them a personalized text message with a link to a dedicated, mobile-friendly page where they can buy in one tap. Too easy.

Try SMS for ecommerce.

Image for Try SMS for ecommerce.

Here’s how to get started with SMS for ecommerce.

Now that you’re full bottle on the benefits of SMS for retail, let’s take a look at how to get started. To add texting to your retail marketing and communications strategy, follow these best practice steps.

1. Know the rules and regulations.

If you’re using SMS for ecommerce marketing, you’ll need to toe the legal line. Before you hit send on your first text, make sure you’re clear on the rules. You should:

  • Display clear calls-to-action 
  • Get consent in writing  
  • Send opt-in confirmation messages 
  • Acknowledge and honor opt-out requests 

If you break the rules? You’ll risk a costly audit or the suspension of your messaging campaigns. Learn more about SMS compliance and best practice.

Note our rules are not complete – it’ll be up to you to know and abide by all content and consent rules.

2. Grow your subscriber list.

To hit the ground running with your ecommerce SMS program, you’ll need a database of phone numbers. And, legally, you need your customers’ consent to be added to that database.

To build your subscriber list, you could add a checkbox or field to an existing form — like, your online checkout or a loyalty program form. Here are other ideas for building your subscriber list.

Once your list is a decent size, get segmentation in your sights. This is all about grouping your customers based on things like their age, what they’ve bought before, or where they live — so you can send more targeted messages to each group. Why? Well, it helps boost engagement and sales, so why not?

Don’t forget to provide easy ways to opt-out with every message you send.

3. Craft catchy SMS content.

Time to start sending? Question is, what will you send? It could be an SMS, mobile landing pages, or MMS.

Whichever type of text you choose, make it sing by following these best practices:

  • Use the customer’s name
  • Make a compelling offer
  • Add a clear call-to-action

For inspiration, check out our examples of ecommerce SMS marketing messages further down.

4. Automate key messages to save time.

If you’re using an SMS platform, you can set up automated workflows for key messages. Not only does this free up your time, but it’s a good way to make sure customers get those important messages and updates.

Texts that are ripe for automation include thank-you messages after a customer buys something online, or abandoned cart messages to lure customers back.

ROI up 1000x with abandoned cart SMS reminders.

Image for ROI up 1000x with abandoned cart SMS reminders.

5. Use integrations to save even more time.

SMS can easily integrate with the ecommerce tools you already use. It means that you don’t need to switch between platforms when selling and messaging. You’ll be able to:

  • Paint a 360 picture of the customer – interactions, purchases, and preferences.
  • Use a platform you already know – send and receive text from your existing system.
  • Create efficiencies – automate processes and reduce repetitive tasks.
  • Connect in a meaningful way – send personalized messages by leveraging data.

For example, you can integrate SMS into your Shopify store or add texting to BigCommerce. Then, it’s easy to send personalized SMS straight to where customers are shopping — their mobile phones.

Check out our integrations.

6. Measure the performance of your SMS campaigns.

With your SMS solution for ecommerce set up, it’s a good idea to monitor how well each text and campaign performs.

Look at things like open rates and click-through rates to see what’s working and what’s not, and use the insights to continually improve on your campaigns.

Try SMS for ecommerce.

Image for Try SMS for ecommerce.

Hit the ground running with these handy use cases.

With your SMS strategy all set, it’s time to put it into action. The good news? There are loads of ways you can add text messages to your broader marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at some of the most common use cases.

Sales, product launches, and promotions.

Got a big sale coming up? About to launch a new collection? Send an SMS message to your loyal customers so they’re the first to know about it. This helps create buzz and build anticipation so that, when the big day arrives, you’ll have flocks of visitors to your online store.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], only 3 days until [Brand]’s end-of-season sale. Browse your faves now so you’re ready to snap up a bargain. [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

Abandoned carts.

Send a quick reminder to a customer if they leave items in their online shopping cart. To entice them to complete their purchase, you could throw in a little discount.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], you forgot something in your cart. Finish your shopping at [Brand] and get 10% off. Use code [Code] at checkout: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

Rewards program updates.

Keep your loyal customers in the loop about the latest promos in your rewards program. You can also use SMS to send out updates about loyalty points, exclusive offers for program members, and more.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], you’ve got [Number] rewards points to spend online at [Brand]. Shop now at [URL]. Reply STOP to opt out.

Order and delivery updates.

Streamline sending with regular updates and delivery notifications via SMS. Not only does this give the customer peace of mind, but it also reduces the volume of calls coming through your contact center.

TEMPLATE: Exciting news, [Name]. Your order [Number] has been shipped and it’s on its way to you. Use this link to track your delivery: [URL]

Birthday treats.

Send a sweet SMS treat to customers on their birthdays. Who knows? They might have some birthday money to spend, and your text message might just entice them to spend it with you.

TEMPLATE: Happy birthday from [Brand], [Name]. Here’s a little birthday treat for you. Use promo code [Code] at checkout for $10 off your next purchase. Reply STOP to opt out.

Surveys and feedback.

Want to know what your customers really think? Ask them via SMS. It’s a quick and easy way to collect feedback on your products and services.

TEMPLATE: Thanks for your recent purchase from [Brand], [Name]. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your new [Product]?

Renewal reminders.

Does your ecommerce business rely on subscriptions? Make sure your customers know when their renewals are coming up by sending out timely reminders via SMS.

EXAMPLE: Hey [Name], your subscription to [Brand] will renew on [Date]. To modify or cancel your subscription, visit [URL].

Get started with a proven SMS solution for ecommerce.

The use cases above just scratch the surface of what’s possible with SMS for ecommerce. To see how easy and impactful SMS marketing can be for your ecommerce business, start your free trial today. Start your free trial.

FAQs about SMS for ecommerce.

If you play your cards right, then yes, absolutely. Sending timely and personalized offers and promotions via SMS will help you create a unique sense of urgency, which has the powerful effect of motivating more purchases.
You can measure the success of your SMS marketing campaigns by tracking key performance metrics like open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue growth. Learn more about reporting on your campaigns.
It’s important to follow the rules around text message marketing, which include capturing consent from customers before sending them SMS messages, and offering easy and clear opt-out options. Brush up on the rules around SMS.
It sure is, as long as you follow the rules and regulations. As we explained above, you have to get customers’ consent before you start sending text messages. And don’t forget to provide an easy way for them to opt out, too. Brush up on the rules around SMS.
You sure can. It’s easy to integrate SMS into your Shopify platform with Sinch MessageMedia. This means you can keep everything in one place, saving you time and effort, and enhancing the experience for your customers, too. Learn more about our integration with Shopify.
SMS is an ideal channel for customer service in ecommerce. Use it to send order updates and tracking information, and to reply to customers’ queries. With two-way SMS, your customers can easily reach out to you with questions, and you can respond in a conversational and helpful way. Learn more about two-way SMS.
Absolutely. With SMS in your marketing toolkit, you can easily send exclusive offers, personalized recommendations, and loyalty rewards to customers — which all help to nurture relationships, encourage repeat purchases, and foster long-term loyalty.
You can set up an automated text message to send whenever a customer leaves something in an online shopping cart. Check out the example we provided in the section above, or dive into detail in this blog on abandoned cart solutions.

Ready to roll?

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