Why SMS Marketing is Crucial for E-commerce and How to Use it Effectively?

SMS Marketing for Ecommerce

A recent study for e-commerce businesses revealed that SMS marketing or text marketing is the topmost preferred channel by consumers to engage with businesses. Customers in Europe, North America, and Asia voted SMS marketing as the #1 go-to method for communicating with their favorite brands. 

That said, text marketing also yields an opening rate of more than 90%, a significant number compared to other marketing channels like the email. 


  • Is SMS marketing meant for e-commerce marketing brands?
  • Can it be leveraged effectively to fuel an online retail brand’s growth?
  • What are some best practices & proven strategies for SMS marketing?

Let us find out what this old-school marketing strategy has in the bag for us!

SMS Marketing: Is it meant for E-commerce Brands?

There is a reason online retail brands will never let go of the simple, yet powerful communication solution like text-messaging. SMS Marketing is banal, yet wields formidable power in terms of audience reach, speed & efficiency. Here is what makes it an all-round channel for an e-commerce brand;

High Engagement Rates

While the simple text-based structure of SMS communication might seem aesthetically old-fashioned, its engagement is fantastic! Text messages have a soaring opening-rate of more than 95%. Out of this, 90% of the messages are opened within the first 3 minutes. Moreover, texting a much more familiar method of communication by the audience. This is where SMS overtakes email communication – a channel with an opening rate close to 30%.

Broad Reach & Trust Factor

SMS marketing works fairly in favor of brands of all sizes given its broad reach. Not everyone is connected to the internet at all times, and not everyone online checks their emails. However, checking out text messages over the mobile network is a consumer habit. Moreover, you have to target only the customer’s number without the need for targeting location, age factors, etc. to reach them one-on-one. 

Also, SMS marketing due to its highly personal nature automatically aligns with the human trust factor. Customers perceive brands as close allies like their friends & family whom they can trust (if they opt-in with consent!). 

Mobile Friendliness

The best thing about SMS marketing is its mobile-friendliness. Moreover, more than 60% of Google’s search traffic is via mobile searches. That means you simply need an audience list, a campaign plan, and an execution timeline to reach your customers without worrying about mobile-optimization. 

Can SMS Marketing Fuel an Online Retail Brand’s Growth?

When it comes to crucial metrics like Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Return on Investment (ROI), text marketing channel takes the crown. Here is how SMS marketing capability can grow an online retail brand;

Affordable Direct Communication

Text marketing’s affordability makes it a lucrative option for digital retail brands to expand their customer base. Firstly, the ability of text broadcasting at much lower initial costs gives the brands an ability to acquire tons of prospects in a short period. Secondly, besides a high ROI, the SMS channel can become a major source of revenue for a brand if it is optimized rightly over time. This makes it one of the most affordable direct marketing channel for businesses. 

Personalization & Automation Capability

The ability of one-on-one communication with the prospects via SMS is a promising one. If your brand aims to build a loyal customer base, 1:1 direct and personal communication is recommended. With SMS marketing, you can push personalized welcome messages, cross-sells/up-sells, birthday wishes, exclusive discounts and offers seamlessly. 

Moreover, automating your personalized SMS communication can give you significant acquisition & retention advantages. You can read our comprehensive guide to Personalized SMS Marketing Automation here

Capture Anonymous Visitors

A simple channel like text marketing can capture anonymous visitors and turn them into prospects for your top-level sales funnel. For instance, marketing automation tools like Wigzo offer the ‘Magic link’ feature. This link, when clicked upon, pre-populates the user’s messaging app board and sends the required information when they choose to opt-in. For digital retail brands that are just starting, this is a powerful feature. 


Reduce Cart Abandonment

One common challenge all e-commerce brands face now and then is cart abandonment. Despite a great UX, products, and services, customers may still leave their carts without purchasing at the checkout. Converting such sales is crucial to recover the cost of acquisition and generate revenue. 

Thankfully, with personalized SMS marketing automation, e-commerce brands can recover up to 65% of such lost sales. E.g. as soon as a customer leaves their cart at the checkout, they can receive an SMS link which takes them directly to their digital-cart & checkout page. This ‘nudge’ tactic works very effectively when automated. 

Best Practices & Proven Strategies for SMS Marketing

Give Your Audience Powerful Opt-in Offers

The more the onboarded customers in your sales list, the better will be your sales momentum. With SMS marketing, you can run offer promo codes and powerful opt-in choices to get more subscriptions. E.g. “Changing your wardrobe? Reply ‘Summer Fashion’ to get a 15% discount now. Reply STOP to opt-out” or “Craving for a pizza? Text ‘YES’ to get weekly deals & ‘STOP’ to opt-out.’

Time Your Campaign Well

A demographic and behavioral analysis of your audience will reveal to you the best time for reaching them via text messages. Usually, weekdays are the best choice with time slots between 11 am to 12 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm.

Drive Urgency via Your Messaging

Your text marketing copy must entice the user to take immediate action on your offer. A classic strategy is to push time-bound offers and deals to drive more conversions. For instance, instead of this copy – “Get 20% off your first shoe purchase with us” use – “20% off our new shoe collection. Hurry, last 12 hours!”

The success of SMS marketing as a high ROI channel for your e-commerce business depends upon investing (time & money) and testing. Run a few text marketing campaigns to see which messaging, offers and tactics work well for your audience. Then, think automation to deploy your campaigns at scale. 

Till then, subscribe to our blog for awesome weekly content on e-commerce technology, trends, and automation. Happy marketing!

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Saad Mohammad

Saad Mohammad

Full-time marketer, part-time guitar player, and a football fanatic. Saad is a Digital Marketer with 6+ years of experience in the industry.

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