Using Text Marketing to Improve E-Commerce in the Era of Social Distancing

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May 12, 2020
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In times of dramatic change, retailers must innovate to survive, changing the way they do business and investing in tools like text marketing. Whether you’ve been a long time e-comm player or have recently spun up your efforts in response to the lockdown, using text marketing to alert customers to new promotionsexclusive offers, and changes to stock, or just to keep your business top-of-mind with a fun text-to-vote poll or survey, may be a game changer.

Importantly it's how e-commerce businesses connect with consumers that will be integral to their recovery, says Nick Stickland, founder and executive creative director of Odd, an integrated creative agency specializing in consumer marketing for fashion and lifestyle brands. “Brands that can continue to communicate during these times,” Stickland recently told Vogue, “will likely be the ones that are applauded and remembered in a post-COVID-19 world.”

Texting is the preferred method of connecting with businesses — especially e-commerce businesses — a fact especially true for millennials and Gen Z consumers. Retailers targeting those under 35 via bulk texting are likely to see their business return more quickly once lockdown restrictions are lifted then those targeting older customers, according to a retail analyst GlobalData.

Studies have shown 98% of consumers read their incoming text messages, while the average open rate of an email campaign in the retail sector is just 14%, with a click through rate of only 2%, according to Campaign Monitor. Compare that to a 19% click through rate for bulk texting.

But it’s about more than just numbers these days. Whether or not the lockdown continues, consumers want to know that businesses are here for them, and actions speak louder than words. By reaching out via text and offering something tangible - be it a discount, BOGO, or something else of value (including, but not limited to, education or entertainment) you are connecting to your customer in a real, immediate way.

– Jeff Nicosia

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