Conventional wisdom suggests that the retail industry has traditionally been one of the leading industries making heavy use of marketing. It has reinvented itself multiple times from a marketing standpoint in order to remain effective and keep the sales figures steady.
With the quick development of technology coupled with the advent of the Internet, the retail industry gained a new weapon in digital marketing to add to its already vast arsenal. And even though the same digital space may cause its eventual downfall in the real world (brick and mortar stores being replaced with online stores), it has not stopped retail companies from using digital marketing to boost their company’s marketing ventures (Learn more here).
But that is beside the point here. With so many marketing tools available both in traditional and digital form, retail stores have a lot of choices to make in regards to the path they will have to select for their marketing strategy. Do they go traditional and spend huge sums or do they employ modern practices to stay up-to-date with time?
There may be a solution to this predicament, a solution that combines the best of both worlds and that is SMS Marketing. Considering its inherent qualities it mixes some features of traditional marketing with digital to create the perfect channel.
SMS marketing for retail especially is the ideal channel of communication. Unlike most industries, the retail industry as a whole does not have a specific target demographic. In other words, due to the nature of their business, any person is really a target. SMS marketing, in that regard, is similar in concept in that it can target just about anyone across the world.
Retail text message marketing has long been in use, so we are not really reinventing the wheel here. Ever since mobile phones became a common commodity among the masses—more than half the world owns a mobile device nowadays—businesses have started using the SMS channel for communication with customers, whether for promotional or transactional purposes.
Advantages of SMS Marketing for Retailers
Text message marketing for retail poses many benefits for retail companies that are using it. It is the reason why it has been used for a couple of decades now and has held its spot among the best marketing channels out there. Its longevity and wide application across the world alone are a testament to its effectiveness and success rate. Having said that, let’s list some of the key advantages of text messaging for retail, aka SMS marketing.
It is cheap and affordable
Irrespective of how successful and financially stable your retail store is, it never hurts to do marketing in an affordable way. Compared to literally any other form of marketing, SMS marketing is the cheapest option out there. But its affordability does not affect its efficiency one bit, so do not get worried.
It provides you worldwide outreach unlike anything else
SMS marketing has a limitless range and knows no physical boundaries. You can send out your SMS campaign to any destination in the world if need be. However, do so with caution as targeting the inappropriate demographic would yield no results, rendering your campaign useless. it would not make sense for a local retail store located in a small town in the United States (for the sake of example) to send promotional SMS to someone in France.
Response and conversion rate
SMS messages have the highest rate of responsiveness among any channels of communication in the world. With a 98% open rate (Check SMS statistics here) and conversion rate in somewhere along with the 30-40% range, SMS messages have proven to be effective in delivering results for businesses. If not for anything else, this can be a selling point for retail stores to start using SMS marketing.
SMS marketing can increase customer engagement and loyalty
As much as any retail store likes having many different customers, the real business always comes from repeat customers. In order to build a base of loyal customers, there are many steps retail stores have to take to achieve that. The key one is customer engagement. SMS marketing can facilitate that by forming a two-way communication between the store and its clients. The facilitation of this communication leads to building customer loyalty which in turn increases business.
How to Start First SMS Marketing Campaign for Retail Stores
SMS marketing for retail stores is really no different than it is for businesses in other industries. The fundamentals of starting an SMS campaign is the same, more or less. For retail stores, here is a guide with the necessary steps on how to start the SMS marketing campaign for retail stores.
- Select a bulk SMS provider that offers an SMS marketing platform.
- Develop your target demographic by creating a buyer persona relevant to your store.
- Create a contacts list that you will send your text messages to.
- Develop the core idea of your marketing campaign and design your promotional text messages accordingly.
- This one is optional but you can customize the messages for each recipient to make them appear more personal, hence increasing its chances of leading to the desired action.
- Consider scheduling your SMS campaign to send text messages during times where people are more likely to be responsive to them. The ideal time range is from 9 AM to 9 PM.
- Hit the send button and kickstart your SMS Marketing campaign.
- Make sure to follow up with new SMS messages to customers. After all, SMS marketing is not a one-time thing and its success vastly depends on its consistent usage.