The retail landscape has been shaken up drastically over the past year with a rapid transition to omnichannel e-commerce to accommodate the change in consumer behaviour. For small businesses, increased competition has resulted in the need to ramp up online marketing in new ways to sustain growth and sales.
One common problem for e-commerce retailers has abandoned carts. Globally, $260 billion worth of sales are lost from customers adding items to their cart and then forgetting to complete their order. The good news is there are some easy changes online retailers can make to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
These changes include uplifting site speed and decreasing steps to order completion to improve the user experience. Businesses can also increase targeted communications to customers to encourage conversion. Beyond sending generic automated emails and notifications, one highly effective method of targeted communication is SMS marketing. In fact, we’ve seen SMS successfully drive results of up to 20 carts recovered per 100 text messages sent.
How two-way texting can enhance abandoned cart reminders
A customer recently shared their success story with us after integrating SMS in their marketing communications during COVID-19 lockdowns. Simply for Strings, a booming e-commerce and retail music shop in Queensland that services around 30,000 customers around Australia and worldwide, was struggling with cart abandonment. Toby Cumpstay, co-founder of Simply for Strings, identified that the issue was last minute queries the customer had due to the product’s high investment and maintenance costs. Customers needed further assurance that this was the right product for them.
Using SMS Marketing Automation app on Shopify, Simply for Strings introduced abandoned cart text reminders to urge customers to finish their orders. Additionally, they also used a dedicated number that enabled two-way messaging. This meant if a customer still had queries about the product, they could text Simply for String’s customer support team from their abandoned cart SMS to gain further confidence and peace of mind in their purchase.
Being able to access instant online support via text message communications improved the customer experience significantly. Two-way messaging capabilities have added another layer of personalisation to e-commerce communications, allowing customers to quickly alleviate any concerns before moving forward with an order.
The results, too, are impressive. In a single abandoned cart campaign, Simply for Strings sent around 500 reminders with 29 per cent of customers proceeding to click through and 41 per cent of those completed their order resulting in a return on investment of well over 1000 per cent.
Other ways text messaging can improve the eCommerce experience
Simply for Strings found other ways to utilise text messaging to increase their orders and enhance the user experience beyond abandoned carts.
During Black Friday sales in 2020, they delivered 18,000 texts to their entire database and within 20-30 minutes, customers were visiting the store. In fact, customers in the store at that moment were enquiring about the offer as soon as they received the text.
In the future, SMS may also prove to be an important tool for Simply for Strings with regards to post-purchase customer care reminders and support communications. As musical instruments require maintenance and upkeep, this will only enhance their full-service offering that caters to fostering customer relationships for the long haul.
By adding the cut-through of SMS abandoned cart reminders with the immediacy of two-way text-based customer support, Toby and Simply for Strings have been able to offer a unique and direct purchase journey leading to increased sales and more satisfied customers.