Text shopping is the ultimate consumer convenience, and TextRetailer just got a boost to keep making that happen.
When you look at the changes in consumer behavior heralded by the pandemic, a move to quick, convenient retail, done at a distance has been one of the big shifts. Estimates are that the pandemic accelerated a move to digital commerce by five years. 75% of consumers tried a new shopping behavior, and most intend to keep that after the pandemic.
New, efficient modes of shopping are in-demand and SMS-based retail answers that call. TinySeed, a Minneapolis-based startup accelerator, recognizes this and has brought TextRetailer into their accelerator program, along with an injection of $150,000.
Funding to simplify consumer shopping
TextRetailer has created a conversational commerce platform that allows businesses to sell products via text message. The key to success lies in how simple it is to operate – our platform eliminates typical barriers in the buyer process and gives them an efficient, easy experience.
We’re excited to join TinySeed and to receive $150,000 in funding to help us further develop our mission. TinySeed’s collaborative mentor network is also a highly-valued aid for us as we seek to provide a unique and simplified shopping experience for customers.
“The TextRetailer team has combined two growing trends – online shopping and text messaging,” said Rob Walling, General Partner at TinySeed. “They provide merchants with the tools to create a magical shopping experience and by doing so, increasing revenue.”
How do we plan on using the funding from TinySeed? We’re using it to expand our services and help us to provide text-to-order technology to more merchants and their customers.
Text marketing has proved to be a boon for many of our current merchants. We’ve seen a single text message generate $40,000 in sales in just a couple of hours. Our top merchants have sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of products via text. Customers enjoy the convenience of text and are supporting those who offer it.
In addition to increasing sales, TextRetailer can be used as a communication tool between customers & merchants. Two-way conversations over text provide a modern customer service experience. Merchants can quickly answer customer questions and ask for feedback.
TextRetailer’s unique features
What makes TextRetailer a unique service for merchants and their customers? We put a lot of work into creating shopping experiences that are fun and easy for customers. When we ideate new features, they’re all about convenience to the customer, to the merchant, or both.
Reply to buy SMS campaigns
“Reply to buy” is a game-changing feature for retailers wanting to get results from text marketing. As it sounds, this is a feature where customers receive an offer via text, then simply respond to the text to place an order.
In essence, it’s like bringing Amazon’s one-click checkout to text messaging. The customer sets up an account and we securely capture credit card & shipping information before their first purchase. Once they receive an offer via text from a merchant, they reply with “yes” or the quantity of units that they’d like to buy. The transaction then happens securely in the background and their order will be shipped to them via your fulfillment process.
Reply to buy messaging can be especially effective if you segment your audience so that you’re sending the most relevant offers to them. This is particularly true if you’re a retailer that has clear segments among your customers. If you run a text-to-buy service that sends out frequent offers within the same type of product group (like coffee or wine), then the people on your text list have signed up to get that particular type of offer anyway.
How are reply to buy campaigns working out for our merchants? Quite well! To start with, SMS averages a 98% open rate, so you’re already doing better at gaining customer attention than other channels. Then, if we look at some results from product categories:
|Category:||Books and Digital Products||Hobbies and Crafts||Wine|
|Number of campaigns:||27||54||224|
|Number of text messages sent:||10,735||60,886||22,412|
|Number of orders:||1585||1103||1147|
Reply to buy can be used for different types of campaigns successfully. Some examples include: flash sales, daily deals, birthday deals and exclusive offers.
QuickCarts is another innovative feature to enhance the customer experience. Multiple studies into consumer behavior online show us that the more steps or clicks a shopper has to take, the more likely they are to drop out somewhere along the buying process. Optimizely found that we tend to have short attention spans while shopping online and will abandon the cart if the checkout flow is too complex or time-consuming.
This is where QuickCarts shines. A QuickCart is a simplified shopping experience for customers and is a way to streamline ordering multiple products (whereas reply to buy sells one product at a time).
Merchants can offer their customers a curated shopping experience by creating a QuickCart link that they access via a link or QR code scan. This can be sent via text message, email or other channels such as social media. The QuickCart contains product combinations that you think the customer will be interested in. To buy, shoppers quickly add items to their cart by clicking on them. Checkout is just one click for returning customers as their payment and shipping details are securely stored from the first time they use a QuickCart.
Additionally, QuickCarts provides merchants with an easy way to offer upsells and cross-sells. Your curated QuickCart can feature a combination of related products that make it simple for the customer to view and add them.
QuickCarts is a great way to grasp the trend of more tailored ecommerce experiences. 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy when they are offered a customized experience that acknowledges their own needs and interests. It saves them time trawling for the right products and provides a streamlined, simple experience.
Thanks to TinySeed, we’re excited to be on this next step of our journey, expanding TextRetailer’s services to more merchants and helping them to deliver a simplified customer experience.
We have our unique features, such as Reply to Buy and QuickCarts, in place to offer both customers and merchants a streamlined approach to text shopping. Stay tuned as we grow and fine-tune what we offer.
Merchants, check out how TextRetailer can help you to boost your sales here.