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The Continual Rise of E-Commerce

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is here to stay, and retail stores are coming up with creative ways to attract and keep customers. One of these ways is through two-way SMS.

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The Continual Rise of E-Commerce

Over the last few years, we’ve probably heard how much e-commerce has continued to expand and become more and more popular. We’ve all also seen the news about Amazon and probably seen their stock increase. With people stuck at home, hesitant to go in-person to a store, and having a lot more time on their hands, there is a reason a company like Amazon has grown in popularity since 2020.

Businesses across the United States are jumping on board to give their customers this shopping experience, but this has also forced businesses to change the face of many other aspects of their company.

Whether it is a smaller boutique store, a household brand that has been around for years, or a massive retailer that spans multiple categories of goods, e-commerce has helped keep businesses open. And, customers LOVE this shopping experience. To search, purchase, and set up shipping deliveries online all in one place is super convenient, and customers do not have to leave the comfort of their homes.

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is here to stay, and retail stores are coming up with creative ways to attract and keep customers. One of these ways is through two-way SMS.

1. Two-Way SMS for E-Commerce Companies

Two-way SMS is a specific texting system set up via an online platform and connects businesses with their customers in a simple, fast, and highly personalized way.

Telecommunications statistics estimate that the percentage of adults in the United States who own a smartphone has doubled over the last decade. Of that percentage, over 75% own a smartphone, and users span across all demographics and age groups. This also means that an extremely high percentage of consumers in the United States have a smartphone.

These smartphones are in our pockets, purses, and on our person for the vast majority of the day. Statistics show that the average adult spends over three hours on their smartphone throughout the day, NOT including work. Smartphones are:

  • Our communication devices and personalized computers.
  • Navigation tools.
  • The lifeline to friends and shopping assistants.

By utilizing a form of communication on a device that the overwhelming majority of customers use day-to-day, businesses can unlock a whole new set of experiences for customers using tools like two-way SMS.

Two-Way SMS for E-Commerce Companies

2. Example of a Two-Way SMS E-Commerce Experience

A colleague wanted to buy a new high-quality blanket from a specialty household goods store the other day. We zoomed in on her e-commerce experience over a month and saw just how powerful the company utilized two-way SMS:

  • A colleague used her smartphone to visit the store’s website online
  • She selected the blanket she wanted, chose the color and the size based on online photos and specs
  • As she proceeded to checkout, she was prompted to sign in or create an account to complete the purchase
  • She had never purchased from this store before but liked their products, so she decided to create an account
  • The purchase was completed entirely online through her new account, paid for, and the shipping information was confirmed
  • Almost immediately after submitting her order, her phone binged with a text message from the store
  • The text message included a personalized thank you note with her name for the purchase she had just made
  • Then she received a second text message confirming the details of her order; it included a tracking link for her shipment, and then the company asked if she would like to receive tracking notifications “Y” for yes or “N” for no
  • Our friend replied “Y” and then did not receive any more texts that day
  • Throughout the week, she received ongoing text messages regarding the shipping status, but she also received a notification for a promotion based on her past purchase with a link
  • She was not looking to make another purchase but clicked the link and spent a good ten minutes going back through the website based on the promotion notification
  • She did not end up buying anything but probably looked at over a dozen different products that we not even being promoted
  • A few days later, her package arrived. She received a notification about delivery. She then received a follow-up text asking her if her product had arrived safely and to her satisfaction with a “Y” or “N.”
  • She replied “Y” and received another text thanking her again and asking her to complete a quick 5 question survey about her shopping experience and the product with a “Y” or “N.”
  • She replied “Y” and was sent a survey link to complete
  • Upon completion, she received another text message thanking her for her time and a link to a coupon for her next purchase
  • About two weeks later, her phone binged with a text from the same company promoting a flash sale for inventory cleanout

We were so impressed with how the system was automatic, but it was designed for our colleague to choose what she wanted to do or see or participate in. It was so unlike an email marketing campaign experience where something can be sent to junk mail or piles up and gets ignored. She opened every text almost immediately, replied almost immediately, or spent some time shopping based on the link sent.

This was a fully automated example, but we learned that if she had clicked “N” or no during the question about her product arriving safely and to her satisfaction, the system would have switched into help desk mode. In this experience, we saw personalized gratitude from the company, tracking in real-time, immediately triggered responses based on her customer journey, and ongoing marketing promotions all through one place.

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E-commerce

4 Communication Tools You Need to Integrate in Your Ecommerce App

Nevertheless, the right communication tools can help you improve your eCommerce app by boosting customer satisfaction. Here are four channels you need to integrate.

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Digital Transformation 4 Key Tools That Lead to Success

Communication features are a crucial element of eCommerce apps. But it can be easy to neglect this aspect between making sure that the products display correctly and the payment methods all work.

Nevertheless, the right communication tools can help you improve your eCommerce app by boosting customer satisfaction. Here are four channels you need to integrate.

1. Live Chat

To begin with, live chat should be a standard feature of any eCommerce app.

It provides a quick and easy way for potential buyers to reach out to sellers if they have questions about their products. Ultimately, this helps increase engagement and reduce cart abandonment.

The same is true when it comes to customer care. Having a support team member only a click of a button away can help resolve any issues instantly.

2. Voice and Video Calling

Another communication channel that more and more eCommerce apps are integrating is voice and video calling.

Calls are still the single most popular method of communication for customers to reach out to businesses. It allows people to get answers fast and establish a real human connection.

Integrating voice and video calling directly into your eCommerce app, rather than just listing sellers’ numbers, for example, has several advantages.

Most significantly, it increases trust. Potential buyers no longer have to call an unknown, potentially foreign, number. Instead, they can reach out directly to the safety of your app.

7 Effective Tactics To Boost Ecommerce Sales

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are a third communication tool that is fast becoming standard for eCommerce apps.

Many inquiries, especially in customer service, are routine issues. Questions about order status and delivery delays. Trouble accessing user accounts. Problems with return shipments.

In-app chatbots are fantastic at handling these issues. This increases customer satisfaction, as user questions are answered swiftly and thoroughly. It also frees your human agents to deal with more complex issues and assist customers who need it most.

4. Contact Forms and Ticketing

Finally, the classic customer service communication method should still be a staple part of any modern eCommerce app: contact forms and ticketing.

Many people prefer to leave a formal paper trail when something goes wrong with an order, a payment, or an app itself. Contact forms and ticketing systems can help them do just that.

You can provide different forms custom-tailored to the most common issues customers reach out to you for. It’s even possible to include a drop-down menu to let customers specify directly which of their orders is the subject of their inquiry.

In addition, a well-designed form is easy to implement and intuitive for people to fill out.

Once they’ve submitted it, they’ll get a formal notification that their request has been noted and will be treated as soon as possible.

5. Final Thoughts

A well-chosen selection of communication features can take any eCommerce app to the next level.

By integrating channels such as live chat, voice and video calls, forms, and chatbots, you can ensure that all of your users’ questions are answered immediately and get the best experience possible from your app.

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