SMS Shipment Notifications via Twilio

Since the dawn of interweb commerce, etailers have been serving up e-mail based alerts when a package is sent out the door. The shopper then clicks on some form of tracking link within that email, and the waiting game begins.

Email Shipment Alerts: The Meh

So this process does work, but we all know the downfalls of this route. Email of course is just broken in general, but more specifically, shoppers will often mis-type their emails during the checkout process, or notifications such as these often get routed directly to a SPAM folder.

Sprinkle in Some SMS with Twilio

Now I am not advocating for the omission of shipment emails, rather simply giving your customers an alternate channel to receive these alerts. We are big fans of SMS messaging at The Longboard Store. We already let our customers subscribe to text alerts for products that come back in stock, so we figured why not let them get notified via SMS when their package ships out?

Last week we did just that. A simple form was added to the order status page, allowing customers to sign up to be alerted via text when their order is shipped. The system lets customers add multiple phone numbers to be signed up to the alert system – and like the product alerts – requires users to validate ownership of the mobile device via a confirmation code.

Neat, but Why?

In the first week of this system being online ONE THIRD of all customers who placed an order signed up. Rub your eyes, read it again, thirty percent of all customers placing an order signed up to be notified via SMS when their order ships.

The people have voted, and they want to be notified immediately when their new toy ships.

The text alert simply states their order has shipped, and the user can click on a shortened URL that directs them to a shipping status page where they can track the package. Perhaps down the road we can send an additional alert when UPS marks the package as out for delivery….

Give The People What They Want

Ultimately this again shows that SMS is an effective means of communicating in the online retail space. Quite possibly our demographic (longboards and skateboards) skews the interest in SMS a bit, but I believe that similar interest would be seen amongst nearly any online marketplace.

Plainly put though, by offering these types of notifications, you are adding just a little bit of extra customer service for your shoppers… besides, who wouldn’t be excited to see that their package is enroute?

I’m excited to see CTR on these text messages, and possibly see if any up-sell opportunities exist for these clicks.

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