SMS Marketing for Retail: How Retailers Can Drive More Business

May 18, 2023 Julio Romero

Reading time about 6min

25% of businesses use SMS marketing for its efficiency. Using SMS marketing for retail is one of the best ways to attract and engage customers and boost your sales. Yet, far too few retail businesses are using SMS marketing to its full potential. 

Whether you run a physical or online store, there are many different ways that you can use SMS to attract more customers

Follow this complete guide to SMS marketing for retail to learn the tips and tactics you can apply.

Why is SMS Marketing Important for Retailers?

Using SMS marketing for retail is one of the best ways to engage and attract customers. SMS is the fastest-growing owned channel that retailers can use. SMS lets you reach customers directly in one of the most efficient ways possible. 

First, SMS marketing has amazing engagement rates. SMS messages have 99% open rates and are often opened within the first ten minutes. In fact, 90% of SMSs are opened within three minutes. Compared to marketing tactics like email, this is really impressive. 

Second, there’s a lot that retailers can do with SMS marketing. You can use it to advertise special promotions, recover abandoned carts on your online store, send transactional messages, and more. 

SMS is also not saturated yet. Retail brands are still relatively new to using it, which means it’s a great channel for beating your competition. It also means more engagement and interest from your target audience, as they don’t get bombarded by SMS every day. 

Overall, SMS marketing for retail is versatile, offering many opportunities to directly meet and engage with your customers. It’s one of the most underutilized marketing tactics that can offer retailers really solid results. 

SMS Marketing Strategies for Retail Success

Whether you run a physical store or are an online retailer, there are plenty of ways you can use SMS marketing to attract and engage customers and boost sales. 

Here are some of the best retail SMS marketing strategies you can use. 

Promote Special Offers

As we’ve outlined above, SMS marketing is one of the best ways to directly reach your customers. So, using it to promote any special offers or campaigns your business is running is highly effective. 

Maybe you have a big sale, a seasonal giveaway, or a limited-edition product in-store. Wherever the case, sending SMS messages to your customers will get your message out fast. 

Send Back-in-Stock Messages

Retailers can use SMS marketing to send out back-in-stock messages when previously sold products are not back in their stores. This is an awesome way to get interested shoppers back to your store and make purchases. 

You can set up these notifications by prompting customers to get sent a reminder when the product is back in stock. Doing this is effective because the people who get the reminders have already shown a keen interest in your product. This means there’s a good chance they’ll make an impulse buy when they receive the back-in-stock alert. 

Cart Abandonment Messages

When it comes to SMS marketing for retail, sending cart abandonment alerts is one of the most impactful strategies you can use. This applies to online stores. 

Almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts. This is a crazy statistic showing how much potential revenue your business is losing. 

The good thing about abandoned carts is that they’re relatively easy to recover. These people have already shown a keen interest in your products, so they’re nearly ready to buy. They just need the right push.

By sending automated cart abandonment SMSs, retailers can receive a lot of this revenue. These SMS messages can be set up to send at just the right moment, with just the right offer. Something like a 10% discount or a limited-time free shipping offer can help you unlock a lot more sales.

Customer Service 

Retailers can use SMS to offer customer service. Sending SMS messages is a great way to connect directly with your customers and open up a new channel of communication for them to use. 

Welcome Messages

When someone joins your marketing list, you can send them a welcome message – outlining what your retail business does and promoting anything important they should know about. This is a great way to introduce your brand and possibly generate a first sale. 

A good tactic here is to include some kind of a welcome discount or special offer to help nudge subscribers into making a sale. 

Targeted Offers

If your SMS marketing platform lets you segment your customers into lists (which it should), you can make the most of this and send targeted offers to specific customers. 

For example, a customer might have bought a jacket from your store. You could send them an SMS asking how they’re enjoying the jacket and promoting a matching hat. 

By sending specific offers to your users, you’ll be able to achieve far better SMS marketing results

Shipping Notifications and Transactional Messages

SMS is the perfect medium for sending shipping notifications. As customers read SMS messages so quickly, sending shipping notifications keeps them in the loop straight away. This is essential for a positive customer experience. 

You can also use SMS for other types of transactional messages, like sending receipts or simply thanking customers for their purchases. Again, this enhances the customer experience and helps them develop a more positive image of your brand. 

Surveys and Feedback

It’s possible to use SMS marketing to gather feedback from your customers. For example, you could send a message prompting customers to respond to a certain action. This helps you engage with your customers and can be a valuable tool for showing that you care about their experience. 

You can also use customer responses in different ways. For example, some retailers might promote products or special offers, which customers can respond to SMS promotions to find out more. 

How to Build an Effective SMS Marketing Campaign for Retail

There’s a lot you can do with SMS marketing for retail, which means there are many different ways that you can set up SMS marketing campaigns. 

Whatever approach you take, here are the main steps you’ll need to follow. 

Use the Right SMS Marketing Software

You can’t run an SMS marketing strategy for retail without using an SMS marketing solution. This is necessary to set up your messages, build a contact list, manage your contacts, run automation, and more. 

Look for a solution that offers different SMS marketing features. Ideally, this should be designed specifically for retailers. 

Know Your Customers

The better you know your target audience, the more effective your SMS marketing campaigns will be. 

To do this, you’ll need to understand your audience’s interests and pain points, You’ll also want to understand their shopping habits. Knowing this will help you send them more relevant, personalized messages that achieve better results. 

Set Goals

What do you want to achieve with your SMS marketing strategy?

Always start with the end in mind when setting up SMS marketing for retail. Come up with an end goal, and then create your SMS messages and workflows to support this objective. 

You must also establish the right metrics and KPIs to monitor, which will help you understand how well your SMS campaigns are performing. 

Automate It

When setting up your SMS marketing campaigns, you’ll want to make full use of automated SMS marketing software. This does all the work for you – ensuring the right people get the right messages at the right time. 

Set up workflows that send out messages to your customers based on relevant triggers. You’ll also want to segment your audience based on their engagement with your business. 

Automating your campaigns saves time and effort while boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of the campaign.

Sms Marketing for Retail

Tips for Engaging Customers Through SMS Marketing

Creating an engaging SMS marketing journey can be tricky, as many factors could cause your audience to drop off and lose engagement. 

To help you create more effective campaigns, here are some of the best SMS marketing tips and tactics to apply to your strategy. They should make creating and executing successful SMS campaigns a more straightforward process. 

Use Personalization Wherever Possible

The more you personalize your SMS messages based on your customers, the more effective those campaigns will be. This will help you boost engagement and sales from the SMS marketing strategy

In order to add personalization, you’ll need to segment your SMS marketing list. For example, you might want to have a list of existing customers and non-customers or lists of customers that have bought certain products. 

Now, you can send more relevant information to each list, This will improve SMS marketing engagement and help make your messages more compelling. 

Use Strong CTAs

Your SMS CTA is what will drive the recipient to take an action. You need to make sure you use a strong and compelling CTA at the end of each message to make your messages effective. 

This can be tricky with SMS, as messages need to be short and to the point. 

To help you out, follow our guide to what makes an effective SMS marketing CTA for some examples and tips you can apply to your SMS strategy.

Use Templates

Using a template-based SMS marketing platform is one of the best ways to set up campaigns that are proven to achieve results. Not only this, but template-based SMS campaigns are a lot faster and easier to put together. 

The right SMS marketing platform for retail should let you choose your campaign type, then select from message templates to help you create easy, effective marketing campaigns. 

Promote Your Opt-Ins

Use all of your marketing channels and resources to promote your SMS opt-ins. You could do this on your website, blog, in your marketing emails, social media, or even in-store on a QR code. The more you promote your SMS marketing opt-in, the more subscribers you can get. 

And when you set up the right SMS campaign, these subscribers can be incredibly valuable for your business. 

Final Thoughts

SMS marketing for retail is relatively easy to implement, and it can help your business achieve some amazing results. Just make sure you use the right SMS marketing software and apply the right tactics to attract your audience. 

With a platform like Winback, you can access a complete range of SMS marketing features designed for the retail industry. This includes automation, templates, as well as SMS marketing experts who can help you put together campaigns. Get started today to see just how much SMS marketing can help your retail business grow.