Sep 15, 2020 8 Min READ

How Shopify Plus Businesses Can Unlock 20% More Sales With SMS Marketing
Tivan Amour

Tivan is a serial entrepreneur living in Boston, MA, and a CEO at Tone. While growing his eCommerce bicycle startup to 30,000 customers and millions in sales, his team discovered that text message was the best way to answer their mobile shoppers' questions. Two years later, he runs Tone, the two-way SMS marketing platform helping 1,000+ brands automagically text their customers like a human.

8 Min READ
How Shopify Plus Businesses Can Unlock 20% More Sales With SMS Marketing


This is a guest post by Tone, the done-for-you SMS Sales Engine that unlocks 20% more revenue for your e-commerce store through lightning-fast text message conversations. For Extensiv customers, Tone is offering a FREE Apple Watch to anyone who books a demo now through October 9th, 2020. Schedule a demo here.

Did you know that 65.6% of us check our phones around 160 times each day?

It’s not surprising that mobile messaging gets all the hype in the Shopify digital marketing world these days. Text messaging is a fast and simple way to reach customers on their favorite mobile device. 

So if you’re not integrating SMS as part of your marketing strategy, you’re clearly missing out on extra revenue that this marketing channel can provide. 

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing or text message marketing consists of targeting your customers with an sms message to increase your sales. It’s a fast way for Shopify Plus brands to communicate with customers’ questions during their purchase experience.

You can encourage customers to buy more by experimenting with your marketing message. A successful SMS marketing campaign can include:

  • Discounts
  • Announcements
  • Special events
  • Promotional campaigns
  • And more!

One-Way SMS vs. Two-Way SMS

There are two types of SMS campaign strategies that you can integrate into your Shopify playbook to help you unlock more sales: one-way SMS and two-way SMS.

One-way is typically used for bulk SMS campaigns. It’s a practical way to get your message out to large groups of customers and drive revenue. 

Consider one-way SMS marketing the proactive way to convert net-new sales from existing subscribers.

Two-way SMS marketing is more support-driven. It’s all about generating back-and-forth customer engagement through texting to improve website conversion and save lost sales.

Consider Two-Way SMS the SMS marketing strategy you can use to convert more of the traffic that’s already hitting your Shopify Plus site. 

Both of these tactics complement each other. 

You can use one-way SMS marketing strategy campaigns to take advantage of key activation points in your digital marketing calendar to drive net-new sales. For example, pair SMS campaigns with your email marketing campaigns to get more sales out of your subscribers during your Q4 holiday promotions. 

Use two-way SMS marketing to convert more of the people who are already interested in your product. Text messaging can help you eliminate customer objections that cause them to abandon their cart or bounce from your site. 

In this blog post, we’re going to tear down how the top e-commerce brands and marketers are using text marketing strategies to boost their sales. 

If you’re running a Shopify Plus store or any medium-large size store on Shopify, you should come away from this post with actionable steps you can take to find 20% more revenue using SMS text marketing

Let’s get into it. 

Recover More Abandoned Carts With SMS Marketing

Struggling with cart abandonment? You’re not the only one 😢. 

Customers drop around 68.88% of their shopping carts. 

So...that means over 2/3 of the people who add your product leave it behind at the last step. Painful! 

The traditional way to recover abandoned carts is through email marketing and e-commerce retargeting via social media or search engine. These core tactics should remain part of your strategy, but you need to layer in text marketing to capture as much of your abandoned cart customers as possible. 

Here’s why...

According to a Klaviyo study, the average abandoned cart email recovery rate is only 4% - 5%, with the rate differing across different price points. 

KlaviyoSource: Klaviyo

Let’s say you’re a Shopify Plus store selling high-end watches. 

You sell 3000 watches a month with an AOV of $350. 

If you’re seeing 2,000 abandoned carts a month, that means you’re losing $700,000 in revenue at the last step of your store. 

The averages say that with email marketing, you’ll win back 100 of those customers. This earns you back $35,000 in revenue. 

With social media and Google retargeting, you’ll be able to convert some more people. You can run a simple Initiate Checkout Retargeting campaign with an additional offer or message to bring this highly-qualified group back to your website. are leaving A LOT of money on the table. 

The problem with email marketing is that the open and click rates are low. Abandoned cart emails only get opened 40% of the time and clicked 9% of the time. 

The problem with retargeting is that it costs you more money. You have to keep paying social media sites like Facebook, search engines like Google, or marketing automation tools like Criteo, or Adroll to continue driving those incremental sales. However, if you use the right local search marketing strategy and target the right people on social media, the results will be more efficient. 

At the beginning of this post, we promised to tell you how to unlock 20% more sales. 

Here’s the first opportunity for you to make that happen. 

Run an SMS promotion for abandoned carts. 

How many more people can you win back with a targeted SMS campaign?

We looked at the Q4 holiday data for one Shopify e-commerce brand with comparable sales and AOV to our example. 

That brand recovered 100 orders via email abandoned cart, so they outperformed the average. 

But they also recovered an additional 123 orders with an SMS marketing tool.

That turned into $56,000 in found sales that otherwise would have been GONE. 

Let’s compare the two scenarios:

Scenario A: $350 AOV Brand With Abandoned Cart Email and Retargeting Only

  • 3000 watches sold
  • 2,000 abandoned carts
  • 100 customers won back with email marketing
  • 20 customers won back with retargeting
  • So in total, that’s 120 customers saved. Which translates to $42,000 in saved revenue. 

Scenario B: $350 AOV Brand With Abandoned Cart SMS, Abandoned Cart Email and Retargeting 

  • 3000 watches sold
  • 2,000 abandoned carts
  • 100 customers won back with email marketing
  • 20 customers won back with retargeting
  • 123 customers won back with SMS marketing software

In total, that’s 243 customers saved. This translates to $85,000 in saved revenue. 

How is that possible???

The simplest explanation is, well - people like texting.

This Shopify Plus brand sent 2000 abandoned cart mobile marketing messages, and 95% of them were opened. 

On top of that, the brand used a Two-Way SMS Abandoned Cart strategy. 52% of the people they texted replied to the text campaign and the brand used text messaging to convert a chunk of customers who would not have purchased due to unanswered questions. 

This translated into a 27% conversion rate for the abandoned cart text message strategy. And it turns out, this is not an anomaly. For Shopify Plus brands, abandoned cart text message marketing has a conversion rate of 26%.

Two-way text messaging brings real-world human experience to the digital purchase journey. When customers drop their cart, you’ll be able to reach back to solve any questions or doubts they may have during the purchase using a targeted SMS text message. 

Still not convinced? Check out this great example from Lasso Gear (this is a different brand than the one we referenced in the scenario above), who uses Tone's SMS platform to run 24/7 Two-Way SMS conversations with the people who abandon their carts.

IMG_0792 2
One of Lasso’s customers added the Compression Socks to their cart but didn’t follow through with the purchase. Lasso reached out with a personal discount to win them back.

Voila! Just like that, they were able to land a sale that otherwise would have been lost. All it took were a couple of texts. 💰 

So for big Shopify brands what’s the lesson? Don’t throw out your email marketing, social media marketing campaigns, and retargeting plays. These classic win-back tactics should remain part of your marketer arsenal.

But, if you only use email and’re missing out on an incremental group of abandoned cart customers. 

By adding an SMS marketing service to your abandoned cart strategy, you’ll unlock found revenue for your store.

Improve Website Conversion With Live Text Messaging

Let’s talk about another way to drive more incremental sales with mobile SMS marketing. 

Add a number or short code to your website that people can text.

This isn’t news...but people love to text. Over 66% of customers prefer to reach out to brands by SMS

Here’s a great example of a Live Text execution from Allbirds:


Once the customer lands on their website, they instantly have a number to text if they want to reach out with any questions. 

Why live text instead of live chat? 

When is the last time you messaged back and forth with a support rep for 15 minutes while on your mobile phone? Let’s be honest...probably never. 

On the other hand, using an sms marketing message hooks the customer into an ongoing conversation that you can have over time. Just make sure you collect the proper permissions, and then you can text back-and-forth with the customer on their schedule while answering their questions. 

Here’s another creative example from skincare company Versed. They have a dedicated page called Skin Hotline, where customers can text them on any questions they have about their skin:

By answering their questions right then and there with live text, you build the customer’s confidence and offer them the info they need to convert. 

How does this translate into more revenue for your Shopify store?

The average percentage of site visitors who engage in live chats is about 2%

Of that group, only a handful stick around while you answer the questions that are blocking them from purchasing. 

Because people enjoy texting more than chatting on a website, engagement rates with a text message marketing campaign are much higher. 

Here’s an example from a Shopify Plus brand that launched leveraged sms marketing in July of this year. 

Through July and August, the brand had ~230 inbound texts from interested customers. 

Of these 230 conversations, 52 turned into orders. 

The average number of texts exchanged per conversation was 14

Nobody is sticking around to exchange 14 messages with live chat or with email. 

But with’s different. It feels like texting a friend, and this turns into more sales. 

In fact, we’ve seen Shopify brands convert 10% more sales using this Live Text strategy to better engage the people already on their website. 

So, if you’re doing $2M a month in revenue, that’s an additional $200,000 you can be making by letting people text message your business with their questions and concerns.

Increase Average Order Size

If you’re a big Shopify brand, you’re always thinking about how to boost AOV. 

That’s where upselling comes in.

There are Shopify brands out there right now getting 10% conversion rates on post-purchase upsells. 

And SMS marketing is the new way to maximize the AOV you’re getting from each sale. 

Let’s take a look at how Usual Wines uses text messaging and SMS marketers to upsell their delicious wines. Here’s a real text message conversation I had with them where they (respectfully) pushed me to order a 12-pack instead of a 6 😀

usual wines

Usual Wines will also suggest other wines that could interest the customer. As a result, they’re able to provide more value while at the same time winning extra sales 🤑.

Here’s another excellent example from diet and meal replacement company 310 Nutrition. Each time a customer buys one of their shakes, 310 texts them with additional flavors they can add before checkout:

310 Nutrition

SMS marketing is a great way to promote your upselling offers. Everyone opens text messages, and the human nature of the channel makes it cut through the noise in a way that email upsells just can’t match.

Grow Customer Lifetime Value

For the last section of this post, we want to focus on LTV. 

Due to it’s personal nature, SMS marketing is a great way to build a personal connection with your current customers and boost their lifetime value. 

Did you know that, for eCommerce brands, the probability of a current customer making a purchase is 60-70%? The probability of a new prospect is only 5-20%

What’s the lesson? Focus on your existing customers! And engage them with the right message to drive more incremental revenue.

Let’s dive into some examples of the sales text messages examples:

When one of their customers orders a specific wine, Usual Wines reaches out to customers via text to ask them if they’d like to order the same product again. Usual will even build the customer’s cart...all via text message!


SMS marketing is also useful when it comes to announcing special offers throughout the year and inviting customers to purchase. Here’s a great text message from NanaMacs to promote their spring sales:


The modern customer values transparency. You can use SMS or a push notification to let them know when their product is shipped, the expected delivery date, and also provide tracking information so they can monitor their order.

Just like in this example from Wayfair:

WayfairOnce the order is shipped, Wayfair automatically sends a text message to the customer. It helps optimize their customer service, which makes clients more likely to stick with them long-term.

Unlocking More Sales With SMS: Final Thoughts

For Shopify Plus brands to maximize revenue through the entire customer lifecycle, it’s not enough to just rely on email, Facebook, and paid ads 🙅.

As customers use different channels to purchase online, brands must diversify their strategy to reach them in the right way, everywhere they shop.

With SMS marketing, you not only reach the customer wherever they are, but deliver a human experience that makes them hungry for more.

This leads to found revenue across all of the below opportunities

  • Abandoned Carts
  • Website conversion
  • AOV Optimization
  • LTV Optimization

At Tone, we’ve dedicated the past two years to developing an sms marketing platform that makes it possible for your Shopify Plus brand to turn real, personal text conversions into 20% (or more) in incremental revenue. And do it at the scale that big Shopify brands need. In fact, before Tone...we ran our own Shopify store. 

With Q4 approaching, we want to help you do everything possible to maximize your revenue at every stage. 

That’s why we’re offering a FREE Apple Watch to anyone who books a demo with us now through October 9th, 2020. 

Let’s take your Shopify store’s sales to the next level with a few actionable improvements through SMS marketing 📈

Book a demo today for your free Apple Watch and 20% more revenue this Q4.


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