Multichannel commerce is an integral part of business today, regardless of your industry. It is essential for scaling enterprises, selling and interacting with customers where they are active most.
And SMS is just one part of multichannel, and it’s a valuable means of sharing important order information with your customers. But as with all interactions with your customers, there’s an art to it.
Read on to discover what multichannel commerce is, why it matters, and how you can use SMS to send great delivery notices to your customers.
Multichannel is fast-becoming, not a luxury, but a necessity for businesses. Every online business looking to scale in 2019 needs a strategy that sprawls a variety of different channels to reach consumers.
Ecommerce platforms make multichannel commerce easier than ever. It’s easy to launch and intuitive to manage, helping brands connect with consumers in a variety of accessible ways.
Before, businesses had to rely on third-party tools to deliver a multi-channel experience. Productsup is one example, integrating with existing retail channels to provide content integration and distribution across platforms. And this works fine, but there are better options available that are all-in-one.
Today, many enterprise solutions, such as Shopify Plus, now provide multichannel commerce out-of-the-box that is user-friendly and consumer-centric. No third-party integration required, just simple functionality from the off.
Multichannel takes many forms: social media, messaging apps, native marketplaces, and so on. Each caters to consumers by letting them interact with brands where they are active most.
And one important, but often under-utilized, part of a good multichannel strategy is SMS.
The average individual checks their phone a substantial 85 times a day — that’s a lot of visibility opportunities, even without someone receiving a notification.
Open rates are a key metric for marketers seeking to quantify their efforts. The higher the open rate a channel has, the higher the chance of getting a message seen and driving conversions.
Open rates for emails are a surprisingly low 20.81%. The open rate for SMS messages, however, is a staggering 98% — a not insignificant percentage.
This is partly down to how text messages have evolved over the years. When mobile devices first became ubiquitous, we used SMS to contact friends and family on the move. They were rarely used for marketing purposes.
It was only with the rise of more sophisticated mobile technology that our devices opened us up to marketing messages on the go. Consequently, we are hard-wired to treat texts with less wariness than emails or other channels.
And because channels like email or social are more popular, they are far more competition for businesses seeking to reach their customers. Texts, on the other hand, are relatively uncontested.
Keeping customers notified about their order is important. It helps them plan, for example by giving them time to make arrangements if they’re at work while their order is to be delivered. But sending reminders via text also minimizes the chances of customers missing an important message because it is hidden among the many many emails that hit most people’s email inboxes every day.
Consequently, you should work to create a strong delivery SMS that customers will trust and engage with. Here’s how.
Your customers don’t want to have to work to find the information they need. Long, meandering texts full of irrelevant information don’t meet your customers’ needs.
For example, some SMS delivery messages don’t include the trading name of the business a customer purchased from. They might not even include the name of the item ordered, using an alphanumeric order code instead.
While this is fine for internal purposes, it’s not as recognizable for your customers. Clearly reference your brand name, the product ordered, and other identifiers in your SMS delivery notice.
In the same vein as the above, it’s important that the information you include in your SMS is credible — it should build trust. While there is less spam with SMS than with email, customers are still wary. If they receive a text from an unknown number or a name they don’t recognize, your SMS will fall flat.
Many shoppers have multiple deliveries pending, and they might forget if they’ve even ordered a package. As such, it’s also worth including key identifiers that your customer will actually recognize.
The essentials to include are:
● Your brand name.
● The product your customer ordered.
● Order date.
● Delivery time and date.
● Order number (for online tracking).
These are the core components of a great delivery SMS. But you might also include the courier responsible for the delivery, or even the name of the delivery driver (where possible).
Don’t go overboard — stay concise. But strive to include enough recognizable and trustworthy information to lay your customers’ wariness at rest.
SMS is just one channel that your customers use. Between Messenger, push notifications, emails, beacon messaging, and so on, they receive brand notifications from every side.
Consequently, your customers are wary of excessive, spammy messages.
Adding some personality into your SMSs mitigates this. If a customer receives a clinical SMS detailing the hard details about their delivery, they might get their guard up. But a little colour livens up the text, increasing open rates and giving the customer a better experience right down to the order fulfillment stage.
A quick thank you here, a smiley face there — these are little touches that go a long way to appeasing your customers. Avoid saccharine or over-cutesy copy of course. Keep it friendly and to-the-point, and your delivery notice will land just fine.
An SMS delivery notice is a small interaction with your customers — but it’s an important one. Keep it concise and build trust, but don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into it. Follow the tips above and create an SMS that gets opened, gets read, and gets enjoyed by your customers.