SMS for eCommerce: The Ignored Driver of Sales

You think SMS is too old school for your eCommerce business. We’ve got news for you.

Old, But Gold: SMS As a Marketing Channel

SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging service that enables users to exchange short text messages between mobile devices. SMSes are limited to 160 characters and can be made up of text, clickable links, phone numbers, and more.

Over the past 30 years, SMS has proven itself to be a fundamental marketing channel. In 2023, it’s estimated that 5 billion people across the globe send and receive SMSes every day. SMS marketing boasts the following statistics:

  • The average SMS marketing response rate is 45%.
  • Text messages have an average open rate of 98%. Yes, 98%. Try comparing that to your other marketing activities…

Introducing SMS Marketing for our eCommerce Client

Introducing or testing a new channel for a client is never easy. We’ve come to expect the typical questions like: “how much is this going to cost me?” or “what results can I expect?”

After some explanation, we got the green light from our eCommerce client to test SMS marketing. This would allow us to gather enough data to help our client make an informed decision about future marketing campaigns.

June 2023 SMS Campaign

Given our knowledge and expertise with running highly effective SMS marketing campaigns, we decided to run the first campaign with the goal of reactivating lapsed customers. We defined a lapsed customer as someone who had not made a purchase in over 60 days. Here’s a breakdown of the June 2023 SMS campaign:

  • SMS marketing platform used: Infobip.
  • The SMS campaign was implemented alongside email campaigns.
  • The campaign goal was to reactivate lapsed customers.
  • 4 x SMS copy variations were used.
  • All SMSes included a discount code to encourage lapsed customers to purchase. 


  • 90% deliverability.
  • SMS campaign resulted in 47 shops.
  • SMS campaign cost: R1,800.
  • Revenue generated: R52,000.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): 2788%

July 2023 SMS Campaign

After a successful SMS campaign in June, we decided to implement another SMS campaign in July for our client’s sale.The sale promotion gave customers a 30% discount site wide between 28 - 31 July 2023. Our SMS campaign included a discount code for early access to the sale on 25 July 2023. Here’s a breakdown of the July 2023 SMS campaign:

  • SMS marketing platform used: Infobip.
  • SMS campaign gave subscribers early access to the sale.
  • 1 x SMS copy variation used.
  • The SMS included a discount code.


  • 90% deliverability.
  • SMS campaign resulted in 346 shops.
  • SMS campaign cost: R1,800.
  • Revenue generated: R376,000.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): 20788%

Don’t Underestimate The Value of eCommerce SMS Marketing

Even with an impressive history, many eCommerce businesses overlook the power of SMS marketing. This includes one of our most recent eCommerce clients. Many business owners tend to avoid certain marketing channels because of personal preferences. This inherent bias significantly hinders the potential growth and success of their business. 

Basing marketing decisions solely on personal preferences leads to missed opportunities. Dismissing a channel without proper analysis denies your business the chance to connect with a segment of your customers, who might prefer that specific channel.

At Katana, we let the data do the talking.

“In God we trust, all others bring data.” — W. Edwards Deming

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