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Retail is the sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale. A retailer is a company that buys a product from a wholesaler and sells them to the consumer. The retailers purchase the goods from a manufacturer at a particular cost and market them to customers at retail prices. In simpler words, a retailer is like a middleman that customers use to get products from a manufacturer. It is the aim of every retailer to sell out their products by any means. To achieve that, retailers spend thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns to help sell their products. Retail businesses make use of marketing platforms like; social media marketing, Email marketing, billboards, TV adverts and radio broadcasting to market their goods. However, retail companies overlook the SMS marketing which is also a marketing technique, that is not actively utilized by businesses and companies. SMS marketing is the method of sending promotional messages to mobile devices using text messaging. SMS marketing is the best marketing technique for retailers to attract more customers and connect with them in order to increase profit.

Why SMS Marketing?

Retail businesses have a lot to benefit from text message marketing. SMS marketing is the most effective marketing technique for promotions, and if it is done correctly is a faster and cheaper technique for marketing. According to research 98% of the text messages sent are opened within 3 minutes by the recipient. Compared to other marketing techniques like the social media marketing and email marketing. Text message marketing have a fast response rate which is important for the success of any retail business. SMS marketing and retail businesses work perfectly together because SMS marketing helps retailers boost their sales, expand brand awareness and improve customer relationship. In recent time, more consumers demand for 2-way SMS communication with their brands. Research has also shown that in the nearest future most of the text message received would be from companies and businesses, whereby they would be sending consumer SMS marketing messages, promotions, offers, news and different types of relevant information. In addition, all mobile devices are capable of receiving text messages. SMS marketing does not need internet connection before messages can be sent and received. Surprisingly, with all the benefits of text message marketing for retail businesses, it is very cheap and affordable. This makes SMS marketing cost-effective for retail businesses that don’t have big budgets to allocate on marketing.

Uses of retail SMS

Retail SMS have various uses for retail businesses and companies, and if they are properly utilized can help to increase sales, customer engagement and brand loyalty. Some of the uses of retail SMS are: 

Product updates  

Text message marketing can be used by retailers to update their customers about their products and services. If a retail company launches a new product, and they have to market it to their customers, SMS marketing is the fastest technique to pass the message across. It can also be used to update customers about the status of their product. For example, when the product is available for pick up, the retail company can notify the customer through text messages. Also, retailers can send a confirmation message as soon as a customer buys a product from their online store. It can also be used to communicate with customers about product returns, repairs, replacing or refunds. These sort of situation can cause frustration to the customer, but with text message marketing consumers can be informed. This makes the customer experience a lot better. 

Promoting other marketing techniques 

SMS marketing can be used to promote other marketing techniques of the retail company. If the retailer has a social media account, they can include the link to the page in their promotional messages. This way the customer would click on the link, and it would direct them to the social media page of the business. Retailers can also send out text messages to customers to remind them about the mail they have sent to the customer. This would remind the customer to go back and take a look at the mail in their inbox. 


Text message marketing can be used by retail businesses to get feedbacks from customers about their products and services. The retailer can send them a text message with a couple of questions asking them to rate the quality of their products and services. This would help the business in improving the quality of their products and services. Customers appreciate it when businesses give them the opportunity to pass their opinions. 

Special offers and sales 

 Retail SMS can be used by retailers to inform customers about any sales or special offers happening at their store, especially when it is for a short period of time. Text message marketing is proven to receive fast responses when the offer is time sensitive. This is a great way to give customers something of value, by offering different sales promotions and discounts that would attract them to your retail brand. Using text message to send out offers to customers makes them feel special, and that they can get a good deal from the store they patronize at any time. SMS marketing is the best way to promote a sale. 

Customer care  

Text message marketing provides a two-way marketing system, which makes it convenient for customers to subscribe to in order to enjoy fast customer care service, where they can ask questions and it would be answered in real time through their mobile device. Most retailers have confirmed that a good customer experience is their most important area of focus. Customers tend to patronize retail outlets that have a good customer care service with a fast response rate. 

Loyalty programs 

SMS message can be used to create simple yet effective loyalty programs with consumers. Setting up a loyalty program allows customers to receive exclusive offers. Offering an incentive via text messaging is a great way to build a retail brand. When a customer buys a product, the retail company can send them a code that would enable them to enjoy certain discounts when next they shop with the retail store. Retail store can also send customers text messages, when new products would be released and how they can enjoy certain discounts if they are subscribed to the SMS loyalty program. This is also a great way to measure the effectiveness of the SMS marketing campaign. These benefits would entice customers and would keep them coming back. 

Text to win competition 

Text to win competition is a great way to build subscribers to a retail business marketing campaign and to target customers who are interested in the business. Retail businesses can run a competition asking customers to answer a question followed by their name to win free products or discounts, this would attract existing and potential customers. Retail owners can send a thank you message when a customer enters the competition offering an incentive for them to patronize their store. For example: “present this text with your next purchase to enjoy 20% off” this would help to build a good customer relationship between brands and their customers. 

How text message marketing for retail works

The first step to starting a retail marketing campaign is to register with a service provider that has all the tools and features to deliver a quality texting experience like Express Text. Express Text has all the necessary tools and features that are required. When you are subscribed to a service provider they have different packages depending on the budget of the retail company. After subscribing to the service provider, the next step is to upload the contacts of your customers. The contact information that would be needed is the customer’s first name, last name, and mobile number. Most retail outlets would have the contact information of their customers in their record books, so all they have to do is to upload them on the website of their service provider. However, it is important to note that retailers have to seek the consent of their customers before they can send them promotional messages, failure to do that may lead to series of legal consequences. Furthermore, the retail company would need to create a promotional short code that would be unique to the company. This code is usually 4 to 5 digits long. For example, 9967. The short code is like a phone number, but it is only used to send marketing messages. This short code cannot be used by another retail company it is only peculiar to one brand. The retailer can also categorize their customers into groups. For example, into new and old customers. This is necessary when a retail business want to send a text that is directed at the new or old customers instead of sending it out in general.  

In conclusion, SMS is the perfect fit for retail businesses. Retail businesses are in a great position to benefit from text message marketing. Retail businesses requires the retailers to broadcast their message across to customers and prospective customers, as they want to be updated about their favorite store, and the special deals and offers available to them.