Retail SMS Resources

Engage shoppers through a channel they know, love, and will respond to.

Person receiving a retail SMS message

Connecting with customers allows you to raise brand awareness, engage leads, and build strong customer relationships. And if consumers can reach you when—and how—they’d like, they’re more likely to reach out in the first place. Retail SMS, which supports both native SMS and over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps, is the most efficient and effective way to connect with leads and customers. On our retail text messaging resources page, you’ll learn:

  • What retail SMS is
  • Benefits of retail SMS
  • How stores and eCommerce sites can use retail SMS
  • Retail store SMS marketing samples and SMS customer service templates
  • Best practices for retail text messaging

New to business SMS? Head to our business text messaging terminology page to review industry terms. Otherwise, dive into our retail SMS resources.

What Is Retail SMS?

Retail SMS is enterprise-grade texting specifically used by brick-and-mortar or eCommerce businesses. It relies on SMS retail solutions, which help teams receive, send, and organize lead and customer messages. SMS retail platforms accept messages from both native SMS apps and over-the-top (OTT) apps like Apple Business Chat, Google’s Business Messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

Retail SMS
Person using retail SMS with credit card

Benefits of Retail SMS for Stores

Businesses often use retail SMS to supplement (or replace) slower, less efficient channels. For example, phone calls consume retail associates’ time and are only useful for customer service; they aren’t appropriate for marketing. Emails can be used for marketing campaigns, but they have low engagement rates and slow response times. SMS texting for retailers is a fast, effective alternative. 

Retail SMS Statistics

Retails SMS allows retail associates to connect with more shoppers, faster than ever before. It increases open rates, response rates, brand image, and loyalty program participation. Need proof? Take a look at the statistics.

How Can Stores Use Retail SMS?

Your team can use retail SMS for any aspect of your business communications, whether they’re between you and your customers or you and your business partners. Most retail businesses use retail text messages for customer service, marketing, sales, and loyalty program communications.

Texting retail SMS

Answer Questions via Retail Text Messages

Answering questions via retail SMS helps your teams resolve more queries, faster than ever before. Customers text your business SMS number or message your team via their favorite OTT apps. All messages arrive in a single shared inbox, where your store associates or operations team can answer them immediately or assign them to coworkers. Conversational customer service through retail SMS is convenient for both your customers and your team.

Redheaded shopper smiling at retail SMS message with helpful marketing content

Use Retail SMS for Conversational Customer Engagement

SMS retail solutions make it easy to engage customers with everything from seasonal product tips to new product updates. Your teams can create templates, leaving space for custom fields from your CRM, then select a list of customers and press send. The retail SMS platform will use merge tokens to insert custom fields from your CRM into each outgoing text. All replies will arrive in your shared inbox, where you can start conversational customer engagement chats.

Three smiling shoppers leaning against a wall and reading retail texts on their phones

Send SMS for Retail Text Message Marketing and Promotions

You can use retail SMS for marketing, but focus on building customer relationships. For example, your salespeople can set up a conversational marketing helpline for customers who want advice on your products or services. Marketers can also use text message marketing to send customers new product announcements, publicize upcoming in-store events, promote specials, and more.

Woman responding to SMS customer engagement on her phone

Increase Customer Loyalty via Retail SMS

Scheduled retail text messages with valuable content can boost customer loyalty. You can also use retail SMS to ask customers for feedback or send them online review requests. You can even use retail SMS to send official loyalty program communications, such as rewards points alerts, so customers can take advantage of earned discounts. Texting has a high open rate of 98%, which makes it likely that they’ll read each incoming message from your brand.

What's the Difference Between Retail Text Message Marketing and Conversational Marketing?

Retail text message marketing is one-way, computer-to-person or print-to-person content. It encourages transactions—not conversations. Conversational marketing focuses on two-way, person-to-person discussions about your store’s products. It encourages ongoing engagement. We suggest that businesses focus on conversational marketing. It’s one of the best ways to authentically promote your products while genuinely helping leads and customers.

Woman smiles and looks into the distance after she reads a helpful retail SMS marketing message

Retail Store SMS Marketing Samples and Customer Service Templates

SMS templates empower your teams to send customized, high engagement messages to many customers at once and quickly answer FAQs in one-on-one conversations. 

Retail marketer creating SMS templates for upcoming campaign

When your teams start creating their collection of SMS templates, it can be difficult to know where to start. As part of our retail SMS resources, we’ve included some SMS marketing for retail and customer service templates. Feel free to adjust and use them.

  • Hi, {{customer name}}! Penelope from Everywhere Electronics here. I saw you had a white-glove delivery on {{delivery date}}. Do you like your new home theater setup? Let me know if I can make it even better! Text STOP to stop receiving texts.
  • Hello, {{customer name}}. This is Ricky from Athletics Now. How are those new running shoes treating you? Do you feel like your morning jogs are a little smoother? Text STOP to stop receiving texts.
  • Dear {{customer name}}, Fancy Fits Clothes here. Reminder that your balance of {{# of rewards points}} rewards points must be spent by {{rewards expiration date}}. Text STOP to stop receiving texts.

How Retail SMS Improves Safety and Efficiency during COVID-19

During COVID-19, your retail business probably offers contactless communications and sales. Retail SMS can streamline your new operational processes. Instead of browsing in stores and chatting with nearby retail associates, customers can now message directly with your team from the safety of their homes. Your team can use retail SMS to engage customers in one-on-one conversations about products, provide curbside pickup information, and coordinate returns.

Close-Up of Woman Texting during COVID

Best Practices for Retail Text Messaging

SMS retail solutions can help your business streamline lead and customer communications. If you choose a platform with the right efficiency tools (read: templates, lists, and assignments) as well as key SMS integrations (read: CRM and PoS system integrations), your teams will already be on the path to effective messaging. But there are still several things your brand can do to offer the best customer experience possible.
  • 1 Ensure customers opt in before you text them. Customers must give written permission before you send retail SMS content, otherwise you may violate regulations like the TCPA.
  • 2 Send retail SMS content to small lists of customers. Smaller lists—dividing customers by loyalty status, age, or geographic location—allow you to create more targeted SMS templates.
  • 3 Create targeted content. The more you target content to recipients, the more likely it will resonate with them.
  • 4 Offer VIP sales assistance. To keep VIP customers engaged with your brand, provide the same one-on-one service via retail SMS that you offer in your store.
  • 5 Focus on SMS customer service and customer engagement. Offer truly valuable content to ensure customers stay subscribed to your retail SMS lists.
  • 6 Provide easy opt-out instructions. To remain compliant with key regulations like the TCPA, you must empower customers to opt out whenever they’d like.