Capitalizing on retail SMS marketing to engage customers in real-time

4 minute read


The right mobile messaging platform that enables you to push out timely and personalized text messages can make all the difference to the customer experience, as it works to deliver communications to consumers that have a higher chance of being seen, while simultaneously building a customer database that includes preferences, purchasing habits, buying decisions, and other useful information.

Texting is the New Calling.

Mobile messaging is quickly becoming the way customers like to communicate with brands, with just 10% of phone calls from unknown numbers now accepted. ( In reverse, 75% of customers want to receive offers through SMS (Finances Online), but, to ensure success, the offers must be personalized to each consumer, carefully timed, and not overused. Customers need to know that a brand understands them personally —knows their likes, dislikes, and what’s happening in their lives.

Working with a smart bulk SMS software helps retailers implement an effective mobile messaging communication strategy, integrated with their existing customer journeys and campaigns. Despite SMS being a less modern marketing channel as it pre-dates the smartphone, a lot of marketing teams are unsure how to use it within their multi-channel mix. A great SMS partner can therefore inform that strategy to help grow your mobile database and ensure that your messaging has the capacity to influence shopping behaviors, increase retention, sustain brand engagement, refine loyalty programs, and capture actionable customer information.

The Right Messages at the Right Time.

SMS marketing has actually become incredibly sophisticated.

For instance, retailers have been able to address one of the biggest pain points within the industry: abandoned carts. With nearly 70% of consumers abandoning their shopping carts in the checkout process, a whopping $18 billion dollars are lost every year (CXL). A text message reminder has started to become a compelling nudge that a customer might need to complete the transaction. Whilst cart abandonment recovery tactics have largely been the responsibility of triggered emails for many years, SMS is now starting to become an effective way to recover a cart due to the immediacy of SMS and its large open rates.

When it comes to product launches too, retailers can tap into their customers’ —especially the early adopters’—anticipation, excitement, and “must have it first” mentality with SMS text messages that provide information about new drops.

Another way retailers are using mobile messaging is to notify customers of their loyalty programs. Businesses can use text messages for program opt-in opportunities, remind customers of points, communicate deals, or use QR codes, mobile wallet passes and personalized coupons that can be scanned and redeemed in-store or online.

The use of mobile wallet also acts as an additional communication channel. Once a pass is downloaded, retailers can update the content dynamically and deliver push notifications for as long as the customer keeps the pass installed.

The New Normal.

Due to the pandemic, retailers weathered the storm by reimagining their overall communications plans, and including SMS strategies to maintain customer engagement and improve customer service. In the height of safety concerns, mobile messaging allowed retailers to pivot and embrace online shopping with curbside pickup and click-and-collect methods. Text messages were sent to shoppers to notify them of when items were ready for collection.

But it has moved beyond that as retailers continue to bolster their customer engagement with shipping texts, pick-up alerts, buying online and picking up in-store options, and delivery notifications. Customers find great value in knowing where their purchases are in the delivery cycle and when they can expect them. They also welcome the flexibility of shopping on their own terms.

That level of savvy communication and transparency has become the new way for retailers to do business, and customers are here for it.

A cohesive and successful communications strategy employs various customer connection points, from email campaigns to mobile messaging tactics, to customer service interactions. Upland has all the tools you need to get things done right. If you’d like to find out more about creative ways to boost your SMS campaigns, read our blog, or speak to a member of our team.

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