Shopify’s recent revelation that mobile eCommerce traffic has overtaken desktop for the first time was news to many – but to others, like us chatty bunch here at FireText, it was a long awaited announcement.

With around 23% of smartphone owners now making mobile purchases at least once a month, it is little wonder that online stores have been scratching their heads trying to adapt and make the most out of this opportunity.

mCommerce – It’s getting personal!

An increase in mobile shopping is not the only change that online stores need to be aware of. Smartphones have turned mobiles into very personal devices with calendars, contact lists, social media and more.

A recent survey from mobile planet revealed that 4 in 5 smartphone owners won’t leave the house without their device!

Man receives SMS order notification

With more and more customers purchasing through mobile over desktop, the online shopping experience is becoming very personal.

Where does SMS text marketing become relevant?

As mobile shopping grows, brands are now rethinking the way in which they communicate with customers and how they can get personal. An increasing number of online stores have started using SMS with the aim of driving customer engagement.

Internet enabled smartphones have unleashed a whole new world of possibilities with SMS – including simple elements like URL links make the possibilities endless. Just as email systems have developed to deliver more personal customer experiences, so has SMS. Information like order totals, even order discount, can be automatically included in order notification messages.

But it is important not to get lost in the depths of the SMS technology – the bottom line is that message tone has become equally as important as message content.

*Wolf Whistles* – SMS is becoming attractive

Heels - SMS Marketing becoming attractive to online stores

eCommerce lacks an element of human interaction that you would naturally get in retail and SMS is now being recognised as both a practical and inexpensive way to overcome this.

SMS is being used for an increasing number of eCommerce applications including click-and-collect notifications, basket abandonment communications, coupon codes, despatch notifications and product review requests.

Dan Parker, FireText Co-founder says:

“SMS is becoming attractive and catching the eye of more businesses. It is very personal and it enables online stores to give that human touch with every transaction – just like shopping in store. SMS doesn’t have to be formal, it can be very chatty. We are increasingly helping brands to communicate their personality through text marketing in order to generate customer emotion.”

The following example is how a small online skate clothes shop can get all of their brand emotion and personality into just 160 characters.

“Great choice Alec! I’ll get your order ready and let you know when it’s on the way – it won’t be long before you can rock out your new look! Cheers, Tim at SK8”

Is SMS marketing Replacing Email?

Corporate order notifications are disappearing and SMS is being increasingly used as an informal channel with messages becoming chatty to make online shopping a very personal experience.

It can be argued that email is becoming dry with repetitive content that often gets ignored. Many online stores have also experienced problems with designing effective responsive emails compatible with both desktop and mobile browsers. Despite these difficulties, here at FireText we believe that you should not pick one over the other – we think that email and SMS work great together, allowing your customers to choose how you communicate with them.

Final Ramblings

As the popularity of SMS marketing grows in eCommerce we expect to see more and more brands change the way in which they communicate. SMS has been used as a personal way of keeping in contact with friends and family for years – and now we are seeing brands use this to their advantage by adding that element of personality into the marketing mix.