In 2015, mobile devices beat out desktop computers with a bigger share of the e-commerce traffic in the United States for the very first time, and it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing. People are shopping on their smartphones and tablets in record numbers, and that presents businesses of all shapes and sizes with a slew of new challenges. The biggest struggle is figuring out how to turn digital window shoppers into paying customers, and the secret to conversion is SMS.
Customer Service Via SMS
There are a lot of drawbacks to putting your customer service in the hands of a live agent. For starters, a live agent is far more expensive; while the average customer service phone call may cost the company $6-$10, SMS costs mere pennies for each chat session completed. Consumers are also weary of the long hold periods and time-consuming back and forth most calls consist of, and in today’s on-the-go society, holding a phone to your ear for an hour is beyond inconvenient, but texts can be sent and received while the consumer is doing laundry, sitting in a meeting, or idling in the school’s carpool lane.
Offer the Ability to Pay By Text
Experts call SMS payments a “low friction method of paying,” which is a fancy way of saying there are fewer obstacles ready to slow down the consumer’s progress. Paying online seems easy enough, but there are still usually several steps that include navigating to a website, signing into your account, selecting the payment method, and then confirming the transaction. With SMS-based payments, a purchase may be as simple as texting a short code and calling it a day. By learning how to properly and securely support mobile payment systems, you remove a barrier and make it easier for consumers to indulge in that online impulse buy.
Create an SMS Loyalty Club
Everyone wants to feel special, and while it might not be physically possible to recognize every online shopper on sight, you can still reward loyal shoppers in some meaningful (not to mention mutually beneficial) ways. A whopping 90 percent of mobile users already enrolled in some type of SMS rewards program felt they had benefited from their participation. By texting loyalty remembers with special pre-launch access codes for your hotly anticipated new product or recognizing customer anniversaries or consumer birthdays with a sweet little text and a QR code coupon for 20 percent off, you’re encouraging sales while simultaneously fostering a long-lasting relationship.
Dish Out the Digital Deals
Mobile coupons are one of the biggest ways you can drive sales with mobile marketing. They’re remarkably effective at a rate 10 times higher than traditional paper coupons, and they don’t cause paper cuts, either. It’s hard not to take advantage of a deep discount that is a mere one-finger click away, and the coupons can even be tailored to reflect the recipients past shopping or browsing behaviors, making your message extra special.
Keep Your Company in the Spotlight
You can spend months putting together a phenomenal mobile marketing strategy, but even the most accomplished marketing expert can’t predict when a consumer will ultimately make the decision to buy. The best thing any company can do is to stay visible and create a brand the consumer would be happy to be associated with, and you can definitely do that through SMS. Don’t wait for a sale to reach out and ask consumers for their business; create SMS contests, use automation software to run a survey asking for consumer feedback, and send links to blogs and articles that may interest your subscribers. By giving before you try to get, you’re putting the consumer first, and that never goes unnoticed.
If you’re looking to boost your bottom line in 2016, you’ve come to the right place. With a little strategy and a great SMS campaign or two, you may find that converting casual shoppers into loyal customers is easier than you once thought.
What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Will you adopt mobile as your tool for communication? I would love to read your comments below.