Who doesn’t enjoy the feeling of being able to shop and buy almost anything without leaving the comfort of home?
Online shopping has exploded over recent years, with roughly 25 percent of American adults making an online purchase at least once a month. E-commerce companies are constantly trying to keep up with the ever-increasing demand and are trying to find new ways to make the online shopping process as smooth and as engaging as possible for the consumer.
An automated engagement solution can do wonders for improving the seller/buyer relationship. Such a solution can offer e-commerce companies the ability to connect with their customers in an engaging way and can go so far as to boost sales and revenue significantly. When buyers feel connected and engaged with, this encourages them to keep shopping online – especially if there is something in it for them.
Personalize the connection with SMS
Many e-commerce shoppers are used to receiving email communication from whatever platform they’re shopping from to alert them of special deals and promotions, however, most of these emails are likely discarded soon after being opened without a second look (if they are even opened at all).
Emails can be sent to the recipient’s junk folder or can be easily overlooked due to the sheer number of promotional emails the average shopper receives on a regular basis. With SMS automation, on the other hand, messages are sent directly to recipients’ mobile devices. E-commerce companies using SMS can almost guarantee their messages are being received by their customers, as an overwhelming majority of SMS messages are opened within three minutes of being received.
SMS automation can help an e-commerce company make their messages feel more personalized to each individual recipient. Not only will the messages be sent to consumers’ personal mobile devices, but these messages can be tailored to each individual recipient through the use of merge tags and other personalization options.
Merge tags are pieces of placeholder text inserted into mass communications that get automatically replaced with specific information from the recipient’s customer profile. They are an easy way to customize SMS messages to each recipient, without having to send individual messages to every consumer.
Two-way SMS communication
E-commerce companies can also leverage SMS automation to maintain a two-way communication connection with buyers. This can be done with help from shortcode keywords and a workflow management tool.
For example, an e-commerce company may be inundated with the same questions over and over regarding returns and exchanges. Rather than continuing to expend time and resources answering these same questions, a workflow can be set up in the automation platform in which SMS can be used to respond automatically to these questions based on a keyword the sender uses in their message to a shortcode phone number.
In the example below, the workflow is set up so that whenever a customer texts a message using the keyword “FAQ” to e-commerce company’s shortcode number containing the word “RETURN,” they will receive an automated reply with information about the return policy. Whenever a text sent using the keyword contains the word “EXCHANGE,” the sender will receive an automated reply with instructions on how exchanges work at the company.
Additional keywords and replies can be set up on an as-needed basis depending on the most frequently asked question the e-commerce company would like to answer.
Not just for FAQs
The workflow management platform can be used to leverage shortcodes and keywords in a number of different ways, not just for answering customer service questions. They can be used to provide dedicated shoppers with exclusive deals and promotions that they can only redeem by texting a keyword into the e-commerce company’s shortcode number and receiving a special code.
The example below shows two available deals that customers can text into the shortcode to receive a coupon for either 25 percent off their purchase, or to receive a “buy one get one 50 percent off” deal. This approach is more exclusive than simply sending a mass email or a mass text message to all subscribers, as it actually requires them to interact with the company before being able to redeem the offer. Chances are that if a buyer makes the effort to text in to receive the offer, they will be more likely to follow through with a purchase.
SMS automation: the next frontier for e-commerce
A more engaged customer is more likely more apt to purchase, so it is important for e-commerce companies to make the effort to connect with shoppers. SMS is a great and relatively simple option for e-commerce companies if they wish to improve their personal connections with their shoppers and hopefully turn them into buyers. And automation makes it all even easier.
SimplyCast offers an all-in-one engagement automation solution that provides the workflow capabilities mentioned above, as well as a flexible SMS channel that includes the options to leverage shortcodes and keywords. SimplyCast has a robust API that is able to connect with a number of existing e-commerce systems and already has several pre-built integrations e-commerce companies can use to connect with the system.
If you are interested in learning more about SimplyCast’s automation tools, visit our product page or contact Sales at email@example.com.