“Ecommerce is growing faster than ever. In 2019, e-commerce generated $ 3.5 trillion in sales and is expected to reach $ 4.9 trillion in 2021. While email marketing has long been the most popular choice for e-commerce marketers to deliver messages, SMS marketing deserves more attention.Why? Because its attention value compared to other channels is much better!Imagine that your company’s marketing communications would reach 98 percent read speed within five minutes of a broadcast – without a network connection. Text messages will help you do that.” (Source: https: //www.bigcommerce.com/blog/sms-marketing/)
Text- and instant messaging as part of online store customer communication
Due to the current exceptional situation, the development of digital services for companies and communities has taken great strides forward. Online stores in particular are now being set up and developed at a rapid pace. Fortunately, related platform technologies (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento) are already advanced, offering a wide variety of options for organizations of all sizes and industries.
Often, customer communication as part of online store purchasing paths is based on email communications. This works, and the messages are delivered to the customers. If (and when) you want to develop more diverse and personal customer communication , text messages and instant messaging will also become relevant channels.
Whether it is a communication part of the purchasing process or, for example, after-sales service, it requires the use of these communication channels to ensure that the messages are delivered and the message receives the highest possible value.
Communication using instant messaging channels
54% of consumers want marketing messages, but only 11% of companies use them. Thus, in SMS and instant messaging marketing, marketers have the opportunity to improve the customer experience and create stronger customer loyalty. (Source: https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/12/text-message-marketing-statistics.html)
So what kind of communication in the online store how to do? Here are a few examples:
Welcome message after login:
“Welcome to the club! Check your monthly loyalty customer program benefits here: https://siirry.fi/1234. ”
Delivery-related messages after ordering:
“Order delivered: Your order has been shipped 1.5.2021. Estimated delivery date 3.5.2021. Follow the delivery at https://siirry.fi/1234. ”
Remembering a customers on their birthdays
“Happy Birthday Anna! In honor of your celebration, we are offering a 10% discount on our products with this code 12345. ”
Communicating about new products
“Hello Esa! New X products are now available in our online store, check out: https://siirry.fi/1234.”
Notification of discount sales
“Our winter holiday discount sales are valid for another 2 days, until 21.12.2021. Take advantage of the top offers now: https://siirry.fi/1234. ”
“Hey! Your journey is approaching, read how to get the most out of your holiday from our blog: https://siirry.fi/1234. ”
“Hey! How was our service today? We appreciate your feedback: Reply to this message with feedback E-SHOP and give the number 1-10, how we did (1 = bad, 10 = everything went super well) and give free feedback if you want ”
Safe start with a Finnish service provider
We often hear comments from our customers that text- and instant messaging channels have not been implemented as part of customer communications, as there are many unclear issues involved in their implementation, both “administratively” and technically. Excessive personality is also shunned, but this may be more related to the characteristics of our Finns. Instead, these channels are used a lot in the world.
Current technologies for text and instant messaging are advanced and secure. Their implementation is technically relatively easy. However, it should be noted that customer communication involves a lot of sensitive issues and, for example, customer data is transferred as part of the communication.
Especially when using a global service provider, it can be difficult to agree on the terms of the contract, the principles of processing personal data and security issues. Often, in such a situation, it is not possible to use the company’s or entity’s own contractual bases, but the global operator’s own contracts.
However, there are many companies in Finland that specialize in providing these communication channels both in Finland and globally, as part of their own service platforms. These actors have taken care of the issues listed above as part of their own service offering and it is straightforward to agree on technical issues with them. In addition, the technical implementation for the e-commerce is not entirely Plug & Play type, but requires a small deployment project that agrees on communication-related measures, data transfer, and any additional services required.
For example, when you want to use 2-way communication, where the end customer can reply to the message sent to him, virtual telephone numbers or short message numbers are used. In addition to this, keywords are used as needed to direct the different answers to the right place in the ecommerce platform. This requires expertise to make the services run as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. With an experienced operator, these are easily planned and agreed.
Additional value-added opportunities could include the inclusion of payment services (SMS billing and mobile payment) and the use of R-codes as part of communication in rewarding and remembering customers. These are not usually provided locally by global players.