Best Practices for Your Receipt: SMS
When a customer completes their purchase with your brand, the standard practice has been the immediate handing over of a printed receipt or emailed order confirmation to the customer. However, in a digital-first world, this hand-off has been taken over by the receiving of a text message containing a link to the customer’s digital receipt or order updates. In fact, 66% of consumers prefer to reach brands or be reached by brands via messaging over any other means.
While this channel of delivery is fitting of changing consumer preferences for quick, readily accessible information on their terms, it is important to note that this channel also presents its own best practices that should be adhered to for a successful implementation.
Read on to learn the 7 best practices necessary to achieve a successful SMS strategy.
Best Practices for Transactional SMS for Retailers
1. Keep Them Relevant
A customer giving their phone number to a retailer is a large indicator of the trust they have built with that brand. Being that phone numbers are highly personal and grant an additional layer of accessibility that email does not provide, special care must be used in the usage of this channel. If a customer opts-in to receive their digital receipt or order updates via text, although tempting, the odds are likely that they did not intend to receive marketing texts as well.
Ensure that opt-ins are actively used and adhered to to ensure the preservation of the relationship.
2. Short & Sweet
Texting has gained popularity from its concise and convenient nature. Aligning your messaging with this thought process increases the likelihood that your customers will opt-in to receive them, as well as engage with the included link to their digital receipt or order updates. Only include enough information to provide quick updates on the transaction. By keeping it somewhat vague, customers are far more likely to click into the transaction update link, further increasing your engagement rate.
3. Have it Managed
With ever-changing rules and best practices surrounding SMS for retailers, it takes far more bandwidth to manage this channel than many retailers realize when activating it. To overcome this, one of the best options available is to have the channel managed by a reliable partner.
Our preferred partner, MessageBird, is a great option for retailers looking to activate this channel with a trusted team of experts. MessageBird offers communication APIs to connect with customers. Businesses use MessageBird to talk to customers over Voice, SMS, WhatsApp, WeChat, Google Business Messages, etc. MessageBird offers an Omnichannel Contact Center solution, a call dialer, and various no-code automation tools to help businesses automate communications to further enhance the experience.
4. Ensure Quick Delivery
When it comes to SMS for retailers, speed is the name of the game. Customers provide their phone number for up to the minute, easily accessible updates versus repeatedly checking their email inbox. Because of this, your delivery speeds must be up to par with when updates are available around their order.
Regularly run tests to ensure your texts are landing in the customer’s inbox on time. Ideally, there should be a gap of no more than a few minutes between a posted update online and the customer receiving a text update.
5. Ensure Your Links Work
Nothing is more frustrating to customers than receiving a text that there is an update to their order, only to have to then login to their email to see the update. If a customer requests SMS updates, they are expecting to have readily available access to their order updates directly from the text. Including links allows customers to read the update and click into the communication via the link if they desire a more in-depth update. Thus, customers are given more control over how they interact with both their updates and your brand as a whole.
6. Give Clear Communications for Follow-Ups
Customers may naturally turn towards the last form of communication they received when they need to contact a brand they purchased through. When looping your transactional messages into SMS, offer a click-through option letting the consumer know how they can get ahold of you for quicker resolution.
6. Make Sure Your SMS Strategy is Optimized for All Relevant Notifications
Transactional SMS messages are some of the top SMS communications that customers want to receive. Your offerings should be consistent no matter how they buy or browse. Customers who receive a digital receipt SMS message from you will expect this same experience when they shop online, by receiving order updates to their phone as well. Extending beyond this, if a brand offers SMS marketing messages but not SMS transactional messages, this could make the consumer feel like they are just being pushed to for sales instead of experiencing a full customer experience strategy.
A Successful SMS Strategy
As we continue to see SMS become a vital part of a consumer’s post-purchase journey, we must adhere to the best practices outlined above and as they continue to evolve. If you are interested in learning more about what SMS transactional messages for retailers would look like for your brand or are interested in having this channel managed, learn more here.