8 ways for e-commerce brands to engage customers personally with text messages

As customers move through your customer journey, there are a few key events where personal reach-outs will increase customer satisfaction and drive measurable outcomes. The best reach-outs do both!  

Here's a list of ten personal reach-outs to employ:

1: Out of stock

It's frustrating, as a shopper, to be ready to buy and then learn that the size or color you wanted is unavailable.  Brands that offer a back-in-stock notification when that SKU is available again can alleviate some of that frustration and capture lost sales.

Clienteling opportunity: 
If your brand has a personal shopping / client service team, an out-of-stock signup is a good time to reach out to the customer and introduce yourself. The customer is in the market and has unmet needs.  You may be able to fill with alternative inventory that's available now, or at least give them more information about when the specific inventory they're looking for will be available.

Concierge enables you to collect sign-ups from customers requesting unavailable items and send those customers text messages when items become available again.  Customers can also sign up for your SMS newsletter to receive recurring notifications.
Concierge complements existing back in stock email programs (like backinstock.org and Klaviyo Back In Stock) so you don't cannibalize existing email revenue with a new channel.

2: Back in stock

As a follow-up to "Out of Stock" signups, inventory coming back in stock is a high-value moment to reach out.  SMS is an ideal channel for back-in-stock notifications because your inventory has limited availability and therefore, customers who signed up will want to be alerted immediately.

Send a notification to the customer when items become available again, including a link to the product detail page.

Concierge tracks each back-in-stock message and provides revenue attribution in Google Analytics using UTM parameters, alongside your other channels.

3: Order Delivered

As a customer, not knowing when your package will be delivered (or where it is when it has been marked as delivered) can be stressful.

Send an alert that lets the customer know their package has been delivered.  If the package was delivered successfully, you can avoid negative product reviews by asking for direct feedback and addressing the customer's concerns.  If everything went well, this is a great time to ask for a product review.

Clienteling opportunity
Reach out one-to-one to get product feedback, uncover the customer's preferences, assist with returns or exchanges, or ask about other needs for the future.

Concierge enables your team to see the order and conversation history with each customer and log follow-up dates for future checkins.

4: Return initiated

Listen up, people!  Your customer went through a lot of effort and waiting to get something delivered from your brand.  Now he or she needs to return it and probably isn't feeling too thrilled.

Reach out to acknowledge the miss and offer to help.

Clienteling opportunity:
Offer to assist with the return process, suggest alternatives if they'd like to make an exchange, and build a relationship so they have a point of contact down the road.

Concierge integrates with Returnly so that you can trigger templated notifications to customers, associates, or internal teams at each step of the return process.
Concierge enables you to trigger messages to distinct segments of your customers (e.g. "first-time customers who are opted into texting and who haven't sent a message") so that you can tailor your message to their situation.

5: Return received

What normal person has time to keep up with all the e-commerce shipments coming and going from their home these days?  And then reconciling it with a credit card statement and email history... Ugh. Surely, someone is out their wondering if their package ever made it back and if they got a refund.

Do your customers a favor and notify them that their returns have arrived at your warehouse safely.

Clienteling opportunity:
Once your customer's item has been returned, they may have store credit to use.

Like #4 above, "Return Received" is part of the Returnly lifecycle that Concierge supports with personalized text notifications.

6: Abandoned Cart

AKA Abandoned Checkout.  Sometimes people get busy or left their credit card in the other room.  Other times, they had a distinct concern that inhibited them from completing the transaction, i.e. "Is this product going to work for me?"

For customers who've opted into texting, this is a good time to reach out with a personal reminder offering to help and containing a link to complete the purchase.

Clienteling opportunity:
Assist with open questions and explain the return policy.

The Concierge Shopify app enables personalized notifications to customers or internal team members during the Shopify Checkout, Draft Orders, and Paid Order process.

7: In-store Purchase

How often, when leaving a store, does someone send you a personal note to say, "Thank you!"

Clienteling opportunity: 
After your customers visit a physical store, a store manager or client services team member can follow up to say THANK YOU, to gather feedback on the experience, and to establish a relationship for future purchases.

8: Anytime it matters

The Concierge API enables you to trigger notifications on any custom event, while respecting customer opt-in preferences, and making events visible to your whole team.  We partner closely with development team to make it happen.

Define SMS template and HTML or plain-text email templates for when events occur
Include an optional delay in message send (e.g. one hour, one day, one week after the event.)
Set quiet hours where messages won’t be sent until the next morning
Send to a specific customer segment based on the customer’s properties, purchases and returns, and past communication history.  (Also, suppress customers who don’t match the segment.)

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