Tips & tricks from top eCommerce experts
How to Obtain and Retain New Customers with SMSBump and Chatfuel
What’s an eCommerce store without customers? Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than a nice-looking webpage. The process of obtaining and retaining customers is, of course, key to your business’s success. So what’s the best way to do it?
That’s a big question. The answer usually comes after plenty of experimentation to see what works best for your unique brand. But if you’ve been bouncing from method to method without seeing much success, we can help! Read on to discover how you can use two powerful tools—Messenger chatbots and SMS—to get new customers and nurture those relationships, so you can boost sales and success for your store.
#1. Obtain new customers with a Chatfuel chatbot
First things first: You’ve got to attract new prospects to your brand and get them into your sales funnel. You can accomplish both parts of this task with a Facebook Messenger chatbot. A chatbot is a piece of software that can converse in a similar, back-and-forth style to a human. You can build one in an afternoon with Chatfuel—no coding knowledge or previous experience required.
Messenger bots live in Facebook’s messaging app, which gives them access to the attention and profile information of 1.3 billion monthly users worldwide. Messenger bots give your brand a scalable way to connect with prospects in a casual digital environment, where they’re already chatting with family and friends. That’s why Messenger content has 80% open rates and 35% click-through rates!
There are a couple of easy, automated ways to bring new people to your chatbot. First, you can connect your chatbot to your Facebook ads. Click-to-Messenger ads lead users right to your chatbot in Messenger instead of to a landing page. That way, they don’t have to deal with cumbersome web forms and wait for a response. Your chatbot will engage them immediately and start working toward a conversion.
With Chatfuel, you can also automatically send users to your bot after they comment on your Facebook page posts. It’s ideal for posts about giveaways or contests, because your chatbot can instantly message even those who don’t win. Include a discount or other offer to entice them to shop with you anyway.
Once you’ve drawn people to your chatbot, it’s time to dazzle them! Grab their attention with an engaging greeting and maybe an offer, followed by a question. Once they respond, Facebook gives you 24 hours to freely message that user and work toward a sale. Do this with:
- An engaging flow. By this, we mean your bot’s flow of conversation. Understand the needs, questions, and hesitations of your potential customers so you can design your bot to cover them. Make it proactive, always offering clear next steps and simple buttons so the conversation never stagnates. Keep the messages short and sweet; send content in digestible, bite-sized pieces. Use images, GIFs, and emoji to make the chat friendly.
- Product recommendations. You can even set your bot to suggest products to users. It can quiz them about their needs or preferences, then show relevant items with links to shop for them on your site.
- Automated and live support. Did you know that a well-built bot can handle up to 80% of routine customer inquiries? It’s easy to add FAQs to your bot’s flow, along with concise, helpful answers. That way, prospects can get responses to their questions as needed so they can keep moving along the sales funnel. You may also want to add a live-chat feature, where users can request to connect with a human agent for more complex inquiries.
Note that Facebook’s 24-hour window will stay open as long as the user keeps coming back to engage. If your bot hasn’t made the sale yet when that window closes, you can pay to reopen it to send more promotional content via sponsored messages.
#2. Recover abandoned-cart revenue with a chatbot + SMS
With a well-designed bot, an organized, intuitive website, and high-quality products, you’ll convert prospects into customers—but not every time. The average abandoned-cart rate for ecommerce is 75%. The causes can be anything from high shipping costs or a complicated checkout process to something distracting the shopper, like the doorbell or phone ringing. No matter the reason, here are two ways to recover a good chunk of that revenue.
With a chatbot
Use Chatfuel’s helpful plugin to have your chatbot to send abandoned-cart reminders to shoppers who leave items behind. You just have to:
- Design copy for an opt-in message that will pop up on your site, so you can get permission to contact the shopper in Messenger.
- Decide how long after abandonment they’ll receive the message(s), and compose them. You can also choose to populate images of their items, add GIFs, emoji, and a coupon if desired.
From there, your Chatfuel bot will do the rest of the work. It’ll automatically deploy your friendly, enticing reminders to get shoppers to return to your site. The result? They get the products they want or need, and you get more revenue.
With SMS messaging
Use SMSBump to set up automatic abandoned-cart reminders via text, too. All it takes is some clever copywriting, the right timing, and a juicy offer. A few tips for setup:
- Displaying an image grid of the products they abandoned in the message will reinforce the feeling of “need,” and help bring them back.
- Even a 5% discount makes returning to their cart a more enticing idea.
- SMS abandoned-cart reminders perform best when sent five to 15 minutes after the items are left behind.
Once set up, these reminders will be 100% on autopilot. All you’ll have to do is sit back and watch your recovery rates grow!
#3. Nurture and retain customers with texts via SMSBump
Obtaining and converting customers is only part of the equation for ecommerce success. The other is retaining those customers, and encouraging repeat business from them. This strategy makes the most financial sense, since it costs 5x as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one!
But this task involves much more than just holding the customer’s attention. It’s the art of keeping their curiosity alive, and gaining their trust with personalized, active communication. And given that Americans check their phones 45x per day on average, SMS messaging has emerged as a super-effective way to do this!
In fact, 66% of people say SMS is their preferred way to receive marketing. It’s lightning fast, personal, cost-effective, and boasts incredible 99% open rates and 45% response rates. Take advantage of these stats to engage customers at scale with SMSBump. You can even ask your chatbot subscribers for their phone number before they purchase, so you can seamlessly move your efforts from one channel to the next!
Once a customer has made a purchase with you, the ball is in your court to nourish that relationship and promote repeat business. There are several ways you can do this with SMSBump.
Send order updates after purchase
Right after a customer makes a purchase, you can use SMSBump to show them your commitment to their satisfaction. You can send them a text to confirm their order has been received, and another one later to let them know once it’s been shipped and delivered. In their eyes, such text messages are the equivalent of getting a receipt after purchasing from a physical store. Transactional messages give customers a piece of mind that everything is alright and they will be getting their package in due time.
Use the Order Delivery automation to send order updates to keep customers informed.
Encourage additional purchases
You can also use automated text messaging to upsell and cross-sell post-purchase. Send recommendations for complementary items five to 30 minutes after the customer buys, to catch them when they’re still in the shopping mood. You could send a text recommending a smartphone screen protector after they bought a smartphone case from you, for example, and include an eye-catching image and a discount.
Gather customer feedback
Take advantage of our Order Delivered Feedback automation to gather customer input to improve your store. 97% of customers say they’re more likely to be loyal to a company that implements their feedback, so this practice can help you improve and get repeat business. Make sure to also enable your SMSBump Chat so they can easily respond to the text if they need support.
Get repeat business in the future
Later, you can send text messages to bring past customers back to buy again. Send them well after their initial purchase so they don’t feel pressured or spammed. Include a unique personal discount code to reward them for their loyalty.
Finally, you can also set up our Product Created automation to notify past customers whenever you release a new item. Include a small discount code, and encourage them to get the product before it’s gone. Text messages like these will keep the lines of communication open with your customers, and show them that you’re always innovating and creating new products for them.
A team destined for success
Chatfuel and SMSBump will give you two effective channels where you can communicate with prospects and customers: via Messenger bot, and via SMS text. Use both as part of your strategy to obtain, recover, and retain customers for your store’s long-term success!
Sign up with Chatfuel for free, and get your own Messenger bot up and running today.
Add SMSBump to your Shopify store for free, and get set up in less than five minutes.
Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.