Text Commerce is Coming. Are you Ready?

The 90s are all the rage right now, thanks to Visco Girls. They’re bringing back scrunchies, baggy sweatshirts with shorts, and anything else they consider “retro.” This trend makes me think back to that time and start to wonder what else might be making a come back.

I remember one of my favorite things each season was to receive the newest catalogs in the mail! They’d feature the new “it looks” and the seasonal sale.  We know that trend is never coming back, but it’s amazing to think of how far it has come! Catalogs would soon move to online stores where they would be marketed via this new amazing thing called electronic-mail! Hotmail and AOL revolutionalized email in the mid-90s turning retailers into etailers, and increasing sales with the simple click of a button.

Fast forward 20 years and now we see over 2.6 billion email users in the market place, BUT over 50% of their marketing emails are going directly to spam. That means, as an etailer, you have to feel like you are spinning your wheels putting time and effort into amazing email marketing campaigns only to have them reach less than half of your subscribers. Couple that with the fact that a “good” campaign is considered to have an open rate of about 38% and you’re reaching very few customers when you send a marketing email.

So what can you do about it?

Two words: Text Commerce! Text commerce is going to quickly become the next big wave for an online retailer within their marketing efforts. More and more we are experiencing customers who are favorable towards receiving text messages from trusted etailers. Specifically when it is targeted, personal messages regarding products that they would want to purchase, updates about shipping, or customer service matters.

Research has proven, per a previous post, that customers are likely to open a text message within minutes while it could take days (if at all) for them to open and read an email.  If your customer is on the go and doesn’t have time to make an order, the text message is more likely to stay visible in their text message inbox than an email would, simply because of the mass amounts of emails people receive on a daily basis.

Another way to gauge the success of a marketing campaign is through its click-through rate. Your click-through rate is the percentage of customers who will click the link that was sent to them to continue to browse and (hopefully) shop your website. Since text messages are more accessible on the go, they have a 19% click-through rate as opposed to its email counterpart at only 3%.

Are you ready to save time and money?

One of the main differences between text message marketing and email marketing is the length of the message is drastically shorter. Instead of spending hours upon hours creating long emails with a lot of content and graphics, a simple text requires less than 200 characters. Setting up your marketing plan for the week, or even month, with text messages could take you half the time, or even less, than traditional email marketing. This leaves you more time to focus on the bigger picture, customer service, or sales.

Reflecting on our 90s nostalgia from the beginning of this article, etailers could easily send a quick message to customers saying “Calling all Visco Girls! Hundreds of new scrunchies restocked with matching stickers for your hydro flask! Click here to grab them before they’re gone!”

Personally, I’m hoping this new wave brings back the see-through phone, but with a modern twist: see-through cell phones! Then I’ll definitely be ready for text commerce! Are you ready?