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The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Retail Traffic and Buzz with SMS Engagement

Ann Farber
July 12, 2023
min read
The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Retail Traffic and Buzz with SMS Engagement

The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Retail Traffic and Buzz with SMS Engagement

SMS marketing provides an effective way for retailers to connect with customers and drive in-store foot traffic and sales. With phone numbers now ubiquitous, text messaging via short message service has become a powerful marketing channel for small businesses.

Compared to email and social media, SMS delivers nearly 100% open rates and quick response rates. Messages sent via a short code appear immediately on the recipient's mobile device screen, driving higher engagement.

This article explores how retailers can use SMS campaigns to boost brand awareness, sales, and in-store traffic.

Current Retail Trends and Challenges

The retail landscape has transformed drastically over the past decade. While earlier, customers flocked to malls and markets for shopping, today ecommerce has taken over a significant portion of retail revenues. Some key retail trends impacting physical stores include:

Shift to Online Shopping

Online shopping offers unparalleled convenience - customers can browse, research, and buy products from the comfort of their homes. Ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon and direct-to-consumer brands have made shopping online frictionless. This has led to a steady decline of footfalls at brick-and-mortar stores.

Decreasing Foot Traffic

With the meteoric rise of ecommerce, foot traffic at physical retail outlets has taken a hit. Lower footfalls translate into reduced sales and revenues for traditional retail chains. Bringing customers back to stores is a pressing need.

Need for Omnichannel Strategy

An omnichannel retail strategy integrating both online and offline channels is essential today. While ecommerce offers convenience, physical stores provide tangible product experiences and personal services. Retailers need to leverage both these strengths.

Benefits of SMS Marketing for Retailers

There are many advantages that make text messaging a valuable marketing channel for retailers:

  • Drives Traffic to Physical Stores - SMS alerts for in-store special offers, events and flash sales bring customers in.
  • Increases Engagement - SMS achieves over 90% open rates, driving higher conversion rates.
  • Allows Targeting - Send customized SMS campaigns tailored to specific target audiences.
  • Measurable Results - Track open rates, click-throughs, foot traffic and sales lift as result of promotional sms messages.

SMS Campaign Ideas for Retailers

Here are some effective retail SMS campaigns to consider:

  • Store Openings - Promote new locations and grand openings.
  • Promotions - Offer limited-time discounts and mobile coupons.
  • Events - Market in-store events like classes, trunk shows.
  • Abandoned Carts - Recover lost sales via text messaging.
  • Customer Loyalty - Use SMS to engage your loyalty program members.
  • Appointment Reminders - Confirm appointments via text messaging to reduce no shows.
  • New Product Launches - Alert customers to new product arrivals.

Best Practices for Retail SMS Marketing

Follow these tips to maximize your retail SMS marketing strategy:

  • Get double opt-in consent before sending mass text messages.
  • Personalize messages using customer phone numbers, names and purchase history.
  • Use an SMS marketing platform to manage contacts and text campaigns.
  • Time campaigns for peak foot traffic.
  • Track open rates, clicks, and conversions.
  • Follow all telephone consumer protection act (TCPA) guidelines.

Unlock the Power of SMS Marketing with Chatform

Chatform provides a robust, easy-to-use SMS marketing platform enabling retailers to execute highly effective text messaging campaigns.

With Chatform, you can:

  • Upload phone numbers and build targeted SMS marketing lists
  • Create and send beautiful promotional SMS text messages
  • Personalize messages with customer data like purchase history
  • Schedule campaigns to be sent at the optimal time for engagement
  • Send MMS messages with images and videos
  • Track detailed analytics on opens, clicks and conversions
  • Integrate SMS campaigns into your existing marketing tech stack
  • Launch free trials to test performance before committing
  • Enable chatbots and automated two-way conversations

Chatform makes it fast and simple to get started with SMS outreach on your existing contact lists, with no coding required.

Flexible plans allow SMBs and enterprises alike to leverage Chatform as a reliable SMS marketing platform suited for their needs.

With powerful segmentation and personalization capabilities, Chatform enables you to deliver hyper-targeted and relevant SMS messages tailored to specific customer groups.

Automation functionality lets you set up drip campaigns and real-time alerts based on customer behaviors for continuous engagement.

Chatform helps retailers unlock the incredible power of SMS marketing to cost-effectively drive traffic, sales, and loyalty throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

Its user-friendly, mobile-optimized interface makes it easy for marketing teams to execute best-in-class SMS campaigns without any technical expertise.

The platform's seamless compliance features ensure SMS messaging adheres to privacy regulations for a worry-free experience.

To learn more about supercharging your retail marketing through the power of SMS, start a free trial of Chatform today!


SMS marketing presents a huge opportunity for retailers to increase footfalls and bridge the gap between online and offline channels. Personalized SMS campaigns targeted at driving store visits work better than generic email blasts. With the right technique and timing, retailers can create customized engagement via SMS leading to tangible increase in foot traffic and sales.

SMS marketing is a great addition to any retail digital marketing strategy. With proper targeting and personalization, retailers can use SMS to drive traffic, sales and engagement. Follow best practices to get the most from your retail text messaging campaigns.


Q1: How is SMS marketing better than email for driving foot traffic?

SMS has much higher open and response rates than email. Location-based targeting is easier via SMS. The personalized nature of SMS improves engagement.

Q2: What are some best practices for measuring SMS campaign performance?

Track open rates, click-through rates, location data of users, and redemption rates of offers. Conduct A/B testing of different creatives and timing. Monitor foot traffic before and after campaigns.

Q3: How can retailers obtain consent for SMS marketing?

Build opt-in lists by offering small incentives like discounts, coupons or loyalty points. Have clear opt-in checkboxes on purchase receipts. Communicate the value customers will get from SMS updates.

Q4: How frequently should retailers send SMS campaigns?

Avoid bombarding customers. Limit to 2-3 SMS campaigns a week, with occasional time-sensitive alerts. Let customers control message frequency with opt-in/opt-out options.

Q5: Should retailers invest in SMS marketing software platforms?

Yes, dedicated platforms provide robust features like message personalization, automation, scheduling, location-based targeting, and in-depth analytics. They optimize campaign performance and save time.

Ready to get started?

Take your customer engagement to new heights by providing real-time responses to customer requests across their preferred channels. With our innovative platform, you can collect information, handle requests, and empower users to self-help, creating an exceptional experience. Ready to enhance your customer engagement? Start now and watch your customer relationships flourish!

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