Back in 2013, we explored the ways retail stores can benefit from text message marketing. This is truer now than ever before and we wanted to offer an updated account of how brick and mortar businesses can incorporate SMS marketing for growth and better customer engagement.
There’s more and more overlap between online and offline marketing. One thing that’s clear is that people still value the in-person shopping experience. Even the online commerce giant Amazon understands this, which is why they’re opening retail outlets (not to mention acquiring the natural foods chain Whole Foods).
The truth is that modern shoppers don’t need to choose between online and offline shopping. They can now easily integrate the two. Mobile phones are the ideal device to help them do this. People, after all, carry their mobile devices everywhere and often use them for research -both for online and in-person shopping. Many people research prices and features as they wander the aisles of retail stores.
When people use their mobile phones to do research, this may or may not benefit a particular business. You can’t control what people look up on Google, Amazon, or elsewhere. SMS marketing, on the other hand, helps you control the narrative by reaching out to your contacts and making them aware of your latest deals and events. Retail stores can use location based marketing to contact their customers when they are in their stores or nearby.
Cavender’s Boot City is the perfect example of a company that has successfully used SMS to connect with both online and offline customers. This popular Texas footwear company found that sending their customers text alerts about sales, new products, and live events was an effective way to get their attention. Cavender’s uses many marketing methods, including TV, billboards, print ads, and social media. SMS proved to be another effective way to engage with customers.
There are many ways that retail stores can use SMS marketing to increase customer engagement.
- Send out coupon codes.
- Publicize live events.
- Tell subscribers about upcoming sales.
- Collect feedback with polls and surveys.
- Send out links to product pages.
- LBS (Location Based Marketing). Alert nearby customers about specials on products they’ve purchased before.
- Remind customers about appointments. Salons and medical professionals can reduce missed appointments.
SMS marketing doesn’t have to be a replacement for other types of marketing. Rather, it can actually help you get more out of your current marketing channels, including social media, email, and offline advertising.
Why text message marketing? For one thing, more than 95% of adults in the U.S. have a cell phone. Even more to the point, about 98% of text messages are opened, as opposed to around 22% for email. Sending your customers timely messages is a powerful strategy for retail stores (and anyone with a physical location) that complements all of your other online and offline marketing strategies.