Text to Buy has many names, and they may imply distinct meanings..
- Text to Buy
- Text to Order
- Shop by Text
- Text Message Shopping
- SMS Commerce
- Conversational Commerce
- Pay by text message
We can simplify this!!
There are only two broad categories of SMS Commerce to know well, and a couple of subcategories.
Since the early days of building text commerce, the feature that we found most compelling was the ability to purchase products directly with a text.
There are many new technologies and consumer trends that could be considered in the SMS commerce space.
There are many SaaS and PaaS vendors providing conversational commerce and 99% of those are providing micro-interactions with their customers and prospects, and assuming we are talking about pre-purchase customer engagement, the agent would send the customer a link to a product page or a link to a shopping cart.
The challenges with this conversational commerce model is the high service levels and therefore high cost of the program, which still only provides an old school checkout link.
The checkout link is where you have considerable abandonment. For most merchants, you would see a 40% to 60% average abandonment rate in the cart.
Text Message Shipping, Text to Buy, Shop by Text
In this model, the User Experience of purchasing products is all text based, and Customers instinctively respond to the native mobile experience, creating remarkable conversion rates for businesses. Instead of tapping on links to small websites, Customers are able to purchase directly inside text messaging.
In this model Users already have a dedicated payment profile for Text to Buy offers, thus they only need to Reply to Buy.
We break this category down into two subcategories of solutions.
“Text to Buy” or Text to Order
In Text to Buy the merchant is making product offers to a list of Subscribers who have enrolled in the program, much like any permission based marketing program. It could be daily deals, excess inventory, or personalized one to one offers to Reply to Buy a specific product.
This is the category where we have the most experience, and there are several proven Uses Cases that have high ROI and low cost as a percentage of revenue.
- Inventory Sales
- CPG Product Replenishment
- Daily Deals
Let’s look at one example of a DailyDeal format. If you are a Crumble cookie franchise and you need to sell the rest of the cookies on the rack, a Daily Deal text message would crush it. Far better conversion rates, revenue, and customer satisfaction than any other traditional marketing channel.
Another daily deal format is LunkerText.com. This is a proven high performance channel that caters to hobbyist.
For CPG Product Replenishment, there are many examples, like Winetext.com, CoffeeText.io and DirtyLemon.
“Shop by Text” – Inbound and Outbound Text Message Shopping
This is AI assisted conversational commerce, but with a major difference. In this model, the user does not have to tap on a link to go to checkout on another app. The customer can pay by texting a keyword, e.g. CHECKOUT or PURCHASE.
In this model, there is a dedicated payment profile for text based shopping.
But perhaps most importantly is the Inbound and Outbound nature of Shop by Text. In this use case a customer can search by text for anything they want to purchase, and the text commerce engine can make AI assisted product matches.
The customer can continue to search for items, sales, repurchases, etc and checkout all within a single text message thread.
One of the exciting entries in this subcategory is Walmart. They have rolled out texttoshop.walmart.com
Textual is rolling this out in phase 3 of the product roadmap.