Textual content Messages Are an Ecommerce Alternative


Many e-commerce and omnichannel marketers treat text messages as reduced email campaigns. But text alone is an effective way to increase sales. After all, almost everyone picks up their cell phone as soon as a message arrives.

Text opportunity

“The vision we had is that text messaging could be so much more,” said Blu Atwood, CEO and co-founder of Textual, a shop-by-text platform.

“When it comes to mobile users, there is still a lot left on the table. So if you can make text a more native mobile experience, you have something that makes more sense to the mobile user and is more likely to involve them in a transaction, ”Atwood said during a live interview with the CommerceCo by Practical ecommerce community on Jan. April 2021 spoke.

In addition, text messaging can be a low-friction way to sell goods. Atwood referred to Gary Vaynerchuk’s WineText, a daily text offering for discounted wine.

Initially, a consumer logs on to the WineText website and provides payment information and a delivery address. After registration, the shopper receives a daily wine offer.

For example, on May 26, 2021, the offer was Zo Wines Dry Creek Zinfandel 2017. This wine normally sells for $ 38 a bottle, according to WineText, but was available for $ 17.95 for a day.

WineText asks buyers to register and provide all required transaction information.

An interested buyer replies to the SMS with the desired number of bottles. That’s it. Just answer with a number and the transaction is complete.

Screenshot of an SMS from WineText with a daily offer for a Zinfandel wine.

WineText’s daily offer includes a graphic, a relatively long text description and an easy purchase option: answer with the number of bottles you would like to order.

By almost every definition, this is a low friction transaction.

Atwood remarked: “I found out through colleagues in the industry and the SMS trade that [Vaynerchuk] gets along very well with it and sells almost all of his offers that he sends. “

Other use cases

WineText is an example of a daily discount for text messaging, but according to Atwood there are other ways that SMS (text only) or MMS (text and other media such as pictures) can be used to provide a native mobile, inexpensive friction way to get around Products for sale.

Retailers could use text messages to reduce inventory, e.g. B. last season’s fashions or perishable items.

Brands that have traditionally sold wholesale through big box retailers could use text messaging as a low-cost foray into the direct-to-consumer retail market.

Drop shippers could sell everything from housewares to fast fashion without having an ecommerce website.

Combined campaigns

Any of these examples – from WineText’s daily discounts to a retailer selling overstock or a brand leading to DTC – can be combined with other advertising channels to increase overall sales.

“We developed a program with a Fortune 500 company to sell excess inventory,” said Atwood. “The company places QR codes on packaging and in stores [that] Lead consumers to a login page, where they join the exclusive offer club, receive the text-based product offer and answer “yes” to purchase. “

This example combines packaging and in-store campaigns with low-friction text sales.

Another example could be combining text shopping with email without duplicating the offer. WineText, for example, sends a second (and different) offer via email. This additional option can relate to the text message, for example a different variety from the same vintner or a similar wine from a different vineyard. In either case, the message supplements the text message rather than repeating it.

Screenshot of a WineText email offer.

WineText combines offers: text messaging with secondary email.

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