Ecommerce SMS Marketing Statistics Etailers Need to Know in 2021

These ecommerce SMS marketing statistics for 2021 show an upward trend that defines the hottest marketing method in history. Here's what e-tailers need to know.

The past year has been a rocky one for many industries, including retail. As global shutdowns put a dent in the economy, the market saw a shift in consumer behavior during this time. People were spending more carefully and differently than pre-pandemic, leading to a 3% decline in global retail sales.

Amidst this disruption, digital sectors came out triumphant, with the help of increasing global internet usage and the advent of new technologies. Ecommerce, in particular, was one such industry that managed to perform exceedingly well during the pandemic. As ecommerce moves to the forefront of retail, businesses must find ways to secure customer loyalty and brand awareness in an increasingly saturated market.

Last year, consumers spent over $800 billion with U.S retailers online, due to store closures and fear of contracting the coronavirus. The ecommerce industry sees new players every day, whether from purely online platforms or brick-and-mortar stores going through digital transformation. Paired with shifting consumer preferences and expectations, marketers must find new ways to increase traffic and conversions. One of these strategies is through SMS marketing.

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With the rise of smartphones and mobile commerce, companies can now reach consumers in a variety of ways to improve brand engagement and loyalty. Recent ecommerce SMS marketing statistics show that this strategy has been successful for some retailers; however, others have yet to adopt it as part of their customer service strategy. Online retailers need to know how ecommerce SMS marketing will affect them in 2021 if they want to remain competitive.

We have gathered all the ecommerce SMS marketing statistics that retailers and marketers need to know in 2021. Read on to learn more.

Total Smartphone & Mobile Phone Users Worldwide

To kick things off, let’s look at the reachable audience when it comes to SMS marketing for ecommerce.

There are 4.88 billion people in the world who own a mobile phone. That is 62.07% of the world’s population at your fingertips!

Out of these 4.88 billion people, 3.8 billion are smartphone users. These figures are constantly on the rise since 2016, when there was an estimated 2.5 billion mobile phone users.

Chances are that your target customer owns a phone. What this means for businesses is that SMS marketing casts a wide net on your potential and target audience using a scalable and cost-efficient model.

Additionally, the average US adult spends 3 hours and 43 minutes on their phone every day. The fact is that modern consumers exist on their phones, and that is where businesses need to be if they want to increase saturation, improve brand awareness and attract new revenue streams.

SMS Marketing for Businesses

Despite the growing popularity of this marketing channel, some companies still lag to adopt a SMS marketing strategy. In 2020, 39% of businesses used text messaging to communicate with customers. As it breaks down: 21% used it for B2B communications; 42% used SMS for B2C communications; and 37% used SMS for both.

As mobile usage continues to skyrocket, consumers are also more receptive to SMS marketing, which could be a useful tool to inform and connect with customers in real-time.

Just look at these statistics on SMS marketing, they pain the full picture:

  • More than one-third of SMS notifications sent in North America last year were promotional messages from businesses.
  • 75% of consumers opt-in for SMS marketing campaigns and are comfortable getting promotions and offer updates through SMS.
  • More than 60% of marketers expressed an intention to increase SMS marketing.
  • 64% of clients think that businesses should communicate through SMS more often.
  • In January 2021, ecommerce businesses had a 251x Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) across SMS marketing campaigns.
  • SMS ads have a Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of 10.63%.
  • Texting has the highest customer satisfaction rates out of all the communication channels. 10% of US consumers make a direct purchase from an SMS from a business.
  • 7 million people chose to receive business SMS messages in 2020.

With these numbers on display, it is clear that SMS marketing isn’t just some new fad. In fact, SMS has been around since 1992! Now, businesses can ping their consumers without badgering them or causing much disruption, while still grabbing their attention.

The marketing landscape continues to be increasingly content-polluted. By tapping in on customer preferences, brands can stay ahead and form better relationships with their consumers. Furthermore, with marketers seeing increasing SMS notification opt-in rates, it is no wonder why the adoption of this 2021 SMS marketing trend continues to grow.

Text Message Engagement Statistics

Having an SMS marketing strategy allows you to connect instantly with consumers. But you might be wondering: How many of them are interested? Do they actually read the text messages you send out? Check out these interesting text message engagement statistics more clarity.

  • Globally, 5 billion people send and receive SMS messages.
  • 6 in 10 people will read a text message within 5 minutes of reception.
  • 39% of US consumers expressed an excessive use of their mobile phones.

A quick look at the chart below finds that consumers are reliant on text messages, too, with 61% using them to confirm an ecommerce order; 55% replying to appointment reminders; 49% using them to provide feedback about a product or a purchase; 47% replying to delivery status of an ecommerce order; 46% using them to learn more about a new product or service; 45% using SMS to respond to a survey; 42% to gain access to a coupon or a promotion; and more.

Studies have found that adult American users even check their phones up to an average of 262 times a day – which works out to once every 5 minutes or so. That’s up from 52 times just three years ago.

In a mobile-first world, SMS marketing has emerged as a useful tool for your business to be seen and heard. Leveraging on the time that people spend on their cell phones can place your online store in the middle of all the action and you can do that all by adding ReadyCloud CRM and Action Alerts to the mix.

Millennial & Gen Z SMS Marketing Statistics

Reaching out to a younger audience? No problem! Millennial and Gen Z shoppers are more tech-savvy than their baby boomer counterparts. It is essential for E-commerce marketers to take the younger generation into account.

In 2017, almost half of the millennials surveyed said they would like a business to communicate with them via text message. Considering that this was before the SMS marketing boom during the COVID-19 outbreak, imagine how big these numbers are today. Here are some other interesting SMS statistics about Millennial and Gen Z consumers:

  • 98% of Gen Z owns a mobile phone
  • 75% of millennials prefer texting over talking.
  • Young Millennials check their phones 150 times a day on average.

Additionally, it is crucial to note the consumer behaviors of your target audience. The ecommerce retail business is swarming with an endless array of similar products that serve similar purposes. How can businesses stand out?

As a new wave of consumers are born, this means a unique set of preferences, demands and expectations. A Business Insider survey of over 1,800 Gen Zers also revealed the primary motivator for deciding where to shop: price. Majority of younger generation buyers usually opt for good products at better prices.

Knowing this, retailers and marketers can shape their SMS marketing tactics to be more convincing, such as focusing on promotional messages that feature sales or discounts, instead of brand names.

Improving Your SMS marketing Strategy

It is undeniable how SMS is revolutionizing the way that businesses communicate with their audience. Whether you’re sending new discounts to thousands of customers or updating one person about their shipment, it is crucial to have a SMS marketing strategy in place.

A marketing strategy is more than just a plan for how to reach customers. It’s also about knowing what content resonates with them and how you want your brand to be perceived. While it can seem like a daunting task to develop a clear course of action when there are so many aspects involved, knowing a few key things can help:

  • 64% of consumers develop a favorable opinion of companies that engage with them through SMS for customer service.
  • SMS coupons are redeemed 10 times more than on other channels. (This is your sign to start disseminating coupons through SMS!)
  • 67 million Americans redeem mobile coupons through their smartphones.
  • The top four most valuable text messages received from businesses are: appointment reminders (68%); shipment updates (30%); booking updates (20%); promotions and discounts on products/services (14%).

Knowing what your audience wants and what content resonates with them can help you form the way your business communicates. For instance, businesses that provide exceptional customer service experience 5.7 times more revenue. Pair that with the fact that most of your customers will respond better to customer service through SMS, and you have a marketing gold mine!

Comparison to Other Digital Marketing Channels

Most businesses, including ecommerce, will benefit from an omni platform strategy to reach out to consumers on multiple channels. However, it is worth taking a look at how SMS differs from other forms of digital marketing:

  • While Facebook holds the largest market share for social media, texting still has a 3x higher usage than Messenger. This rate is doubled for WhatsApp, while Instagram DMs have an 11x less usage.
  • SMS has a whopping open rate of 99%, compared to email marketing which only has an average 18% open rate.
  • Similarly, SMS has a 295% higher response rate than phone calls.
  • Text messages are generally opened within 90 seconds of delivery, while emails get seen after 90 minutes.

As SMS marketing continues to gain popularity, other methods still hold their own advantages. But with its high usage and open rates, SMS provides a valuable tool worth investing in to achieve the desired results.

Know Your Options

The widespread adoption of SMS marketing is not unfounded. If you’re looking to tap into this useful and instant solution for your online store, you are not alone. Here are some market statistics:

  • The USA SMS market is currently at 2% and is projected to reach a valuation of $31.7 billion in 2022.
  • Globally, the A2P (Application-to-Person) messaging market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.2% from $62.1 billion in 2020 to 2025.

As more businesses hop on this marketing trend in 2021, it is vital to know what exactly you want to address. While SMS is quick and as easy as tapping on a notification, it is only successful if done right.

To put things into perspective, consumers are more likely to shop at stores where they can contact someone working there. For e-tailers, one of the top priorities is driving traffic and sales. Therefore, knowing the issues can help you tap into opportunities when using SMS marketing.

  • 77% of online shopping carts are abandoned without checking out.
  • In 2013, 83% of online shoppers needed support to complete a purchase.
  • As of 2021, there are 2.14 billion digital buyers in the world.
  • Three out of every ten dollars spent on online shopping will be on fashion-related items.

Email & SMS Marketing For Your Online Store

Use Action Alerts ecommerce email and SMS marketing to keep your customers updated about their order, a delivery, a return label acceptance scan and more. Remarket with Action Alerts to cross-promote and upsell new products and to keep your brand in sight. Each ReadyCloud CRM user license comes with 100 FREE Action Alerts you can use to grow your business each month. Start for free today, no credit card is needed.

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