Texting is becoming the number one way of communicating. The number of monthly texts sent has increased more than 7,700% over the last decade, and over 560 billion texts are sent every month worldwide (Statistic Brain). With this new and emerging way of communicating, retailers have an opportunity to use text messages to engage customers in a whole new way. Texting is the most direct means of informing customers of the latest deals; offering incentives to shop in-store; showing off new products; conducting surveys; collecting purchase information; rescheduling appointments—the list goes on. It also happens to be the fastest, easiest way for customers to connect with their local associates. Retailers need to empower associates to communicate with their customers via text in order to reap all the benefits that come with this kind of superpower.
Consider the following 5 reasons you should harness it to grow your business:
- Texting helps you be snappier and more efficient.
The most fundamental reason texting is as popular a medium as it is? It’s immediate. 99% of texts are read, with an average response time of 90 seconds, and a 45% average response rate—significantly better than email’s 22% open rate. Texting also has less of a reputation for spam (rightfully so). Since your customers are almost certain to read any message you send instantly, you are highly likely to drive more customers into your stores, possibly even catching them when they are already out shopping. As a plus, associates are personally motivated to sell because there’s something in it for them: they can use text messaging to get in touch with their customers easily and quickly with the possibility of getting credited for the sale.
- Texting gives your business that human touch.
Sending and receiving texts is something people do with friends and loved ones, or anyone they share close and direct communication with. It’s a no-hassle, intimate back-and-forth type of engagement. Engaging people has always been about connecting with them meaningfully and giving them the option of responding directly and immediately. That’s what makes texting so perfect for building up strong, mutually beneficial customer relationships, and giving your brand that personable feel—something people just want to respond to.
- Texting is easy.
In the age of smartphones and endless avenues, sending a text still amounts to fewer taps and swipes than going all the way into one’s email or some other app. Making sure clickable products are integrated into your messages ups the convenience factor even further. And make no mistake, a noticeably convenient experience is a feature that stays with people. You’ll see evidence of this in your reviews. Inserting a clickable url into your text can drive traffic to a landing page, blog, or social media page. According to the American mobile marketing TextBoard, 19.3% of people will click a link embedded in a text, while just 4.2% will click a link in an email. Aren’t we fascinating creatures? One thing’s for sure, the fewer steps, the better.
- Many people prefer texting to phone calls.
It’s ironic, people love to connect but would often still rather text than call: indeed, 75% of millennials prefer texting over phone calls. The option of not having to interact in real time signifies less of a hassle, and thus less stress to many people. Coupled with the fact that texting is ultra quick and easy, perhaps another reason that texting open and response times are so golden has to do with the fact that unlike with calls, there is zero pressure to respond or be accountable. No one likes to feel trapped in an interaction. Knowing this and putting it into practice in your sales strategies will only benefit your brand.
- Texting gives you a competitive edge.
The reality is, in spite of all the impressive stats and figures, many businesses are still not employing SMS marketing. Set yourself apart by not counting yourself among them. One way to ensure that text messaging is a success in your store is to ensure associates can get credit for sales initiated via text message. Additionally, using text messaging means having access to helpful information about your business; you can track how many texts are sent and received and gain valuable insights from the data. There are great apps out there that can help you accomplish this easily. Salesfloor’s omnichannel clienteling capabilities are definitely worth a gander.
Bottom line: in a time when technology changes and expands its influence constantly and exponentially, it can be intimidating to broaden your tactics, but harnessing the power of texting can be a brilliant way of keeping your business fresh, in touch, and growing. Interested in text messaging for your company? Get in touch!