Shopify has come a long way. Founded in 2004 as a simple online store selling snowboards, the company originally had no plan to become a platform for anything apart from effective snowboard sales. In fact, in its earliest iteration, there weren’t even plans in place for to create ecommerce software.
Now, it’s one of the world’s biggest online shopping platforms. The decision to use Shopify to host your virtual store is easy. What’s hard is deciding the most effective way to market your goods.
Recent history in numbers: how online retail went from birth to beast in 20 years
It’s often easy to forget just how far and how fast online shopping (and the internet itself) has come. It was only in 2000 that the Pew Research Center even began to consider measuring U.S. internet adoption rates a task worth taking on. At that time, only 52 percent of Americans surveyed reported even using the internet. But by 2004, that basic usage rate was sitting at 63 percent.
Although the adoption rate of online retail sales was increasing faster than that of “general usage,” in 2004, they accounted for a mere 1.6 percent of total retail sales for the entire year. This was considered a real win, too—according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, online retail sales jumped 26 percent from 2003-2004 to $55 billion.
Compare this to 2018, when the single month of December was projected to reach a likely total of $65.5 billion, a $7 billion jump from November. Furthermore, by 2018, online purchases accounted for 57 percent of total retail sales.
The reason for this meteoric takeover of the retail sector is almost completely to do with how it uses marketing tools, and many of those lessons came from our old snowmobile-selling friend.
Tips for creating a Shopify ecommerce marketing campaign with SMS
Shopify saw the potential in developing and owning a savvy ecommerce platform before almost anyone else. In fact, by 2006 it had already created industry buzz around its proprietary software (company co-founder Tobias Lütke has been called a born coder). Today, there are 800,000 active Shopify stores, and the company claims $100 billion in sales.
It’s achieved this thanks to its almost unimaginable agility as a platform, offering incredibly robust analytics capabilities and seamless integration with more than 2,000 marketing and sales apps. SMS marketing is one of the latest pieces in the puzzle, and a hugely successful one that is bringing conversions, sales and repeat business for many merchants.
Here are three ecommerce marketing tips that our Postscript experts know will help you achieve your goals.
#1: SMS marketing helps you target (and keep!) your customers.
There’s a lot of noise out there—and to cut through it, you’ve already made a crucial decision: using Shopify and its monster toolset to host your ecommerce business. Now, you need to take the next step: a truly savvy SMS marketing campaign.
Some Shopify companies using SMS marketing tools have already reported a 45x return on investment (ROI), which speaks not only to the awesome dev work that went into them but also to the fact that customers don’t mind SMS marketing, as long as it’s done properly, meaning:
To keep your customers, you have to know and uniquely target your customers. Postscript’s SMS marketing platform does just this.
Hitting customers with passive, timely messaging through automation flows work wonders. The same company we talked about earlier? It saw $13.5K in the first month alone from SMS marketing automation flows (abandoned carts, post purchase upsells, welcome series, etc)—all with a modest two thousand subscribers.
The key word here is “targeted” (it goes with personal, see?) Excellent SMS marketing lets you build unique campaigns. What our experts know is that customers don’t get annoyed when they receive info like product reviews, new products, sales (especially early access!), and good promotions as long as the information they’re getting relates to the products they’re interested in and the cadence isn’t overwhelming.
#2: Ecommerce marketing strategies using SMS can dramatically improve conversion rates
Simply put, conversion rates (CR) measure how often your shoppers complete whatever action you are tracking. Usually, these amount to engaging with you in some way—making a purchase, downloading a free PDF, or opening a customer-service query conversation.
In the world of economic trading, there’s nothing more immediately impactful on the growth of your business than conversion rates. Good SMS marketing can dramatically affect this. Shopify businesses are already earning back over 10 times their spend and seeing results that go far beyond the done-to-death email marketing campaigns.
Our experts know how to provide you with SMS marketing tools to:
Segment your customers
Segmenting your customers allows you to target them effectively. Shopify analytics can teach you about your customers and potential customers, their reasoning behind buying at ecommerce stores and what marketing prompts they’re most likely to respond to.
Create and run effective campaigns
Remember: it’s all about effective and personal customer targeting. Here, it’s a perfect marriage: Shopify’s analytics and SMS can talk to each other to share information, leaving you the rewarding task of shooting out the right information to the right people, who will happily shop with you.
#3: SMS marketing can help you reduce cart abandonment
A good UX reduces cart abandonment on the front end, but it still happens—and it happens very frequently. In the second quarter of 2018, Statista found that on average, 74% of online retail orders were ditched before purchase. That is a LOT of abandoned carts. Well-targeted SMS marketing can follow up on those lost customers and win some of them back through a variety of methods.
Incentives are awesome for encouraging customers to return to complete the transaction. If you make it worth a customer’s while to return, they very often will do so. Even for a relatively small discount, like a 10% discount or free shipping.
SMS can let customers know that their cart is, in fact, still there. It’s also helpful to keep the customers’ items in it—having to start again is the main reason customers, who were obviously frustrated in some way the first time, are exponentially less likely to go through the whole exercise again.
Help us help you
In the end, it’s all about using the best tools to reach the right audience. Does this sound like something you’d like to do in your own Shopify business? Install Postscript on Shopify today if you’re ready, or schedule a demo first to learn more about how Shopify store owners can use Postscript to start connecting with soon-to-be customers today!