SMS marketing for retail

Bring more customers to your store, increase operational efficiencies, and scale faster with our all-inclusive retail text message marketing platform. See how Textline can improve lead engagement, customer relations, and SMS marketing for the retail industry.
an illustration of a phone and cogs

How retail shops use SMS marketing

Increase foot traffic to your store, reignite stale customer relationships, and drive customer loyalty with a retail SMS solution.

Gone are the days of distributing retail flyers, print ads, or magazines to acquire customers. The efficiency of sending emails also is decreasing. In fact, many marketing emails are left unopened or filtered as junk. Plus, industry stats also show that the best way to drive retail sales is via SMS.  

In addition to dwindling efficacy of other communication channels, experts predict that by 2030 more than 7 billion people will own a smartphone. As a result, retail stores must adapt to reach customers on their mobile devices.

Nearly 50 percent of customers prefer receiving text messages over emails or phone calls. Plus, retail SMS marketing is effective. Most text marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns. Texting is also the medium most likely to garner customer responses. 

Retail stores like yours use SMS strategies to improve customer retention, send relevant updates, and handle customer service requests. With the right SMS platform, brands can easily grow their SMS contact list using text keywords, send marketing messages, and create groups to deliver targeted messages. 

icon Ready to start texting?
Try it for free

The power of retail SMS

One key to retail success is building brand loyalty to encourage repeat purchases and customers. This loyalty is built through delivering outstanding customer service and delighting your  customers. It's about listening to your customers and delivering what they want, how they want it.

To create thriving and long-lasting relationships, you need reliable communication. Yet traditional communication methods like phone and email are not always dependable. For example, calling customers is time-consuming and doesn't always reach them at the right time. Plus, while sending emails may be fast, your messages can be left unopened or filtered into the spam folder. SMS marketing for retail overcomes these problems. 

Retail SMS is reliable, accessible, and familiar. In fact, SMS has an open rate of 98 percent, ensuring your message is read. Plus, text messaging is familiar to anyone with a mobile phone, and customers don’t need to download an app or remember login details. SMS is also cheaper than other traditional marketing methods, meaning it may offer a higher ROI.

Below we share some of the key benefits of a retail SMS solution. 

Provide better customer service and enhance customer outcomes

Excellent customer service starts with quick responses and great communication. If customers need help troubleshooting an issue, have a question, or simply want to contact you, texting allows them to communicate with your team immediately. 

Texting enables rapid back-and-forth communication. As a result, you can use it to resolve customer issues quickly, gather feedback in real time to improve experiences, or send personalized offers. These will help you provide better customer experiences, drive sales, and encourage customer loyalty. 

See higher open and response rates

Retail SMS messages often see open rates of 98 percent and response rates of 45 percent. These are higher than email. Additionally, the average text message is read within the first three minutes. SMS marketing is effective because it sends notifications directly to the home screen of your customers' smartphones. 

Keeps you ahead of the competition

While many businesses use email marketing, SMS marketing may present a competitive advantage for retail stores like yours. 

The reality is marketing is about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. SMS allows you to do just that. You can reach customers immediately and send them personalized messages that encourage them to convert. Plus with Textline you can send GIFs, images, documents, and emojis to make your marketing communication stand out. Gain a competitive edge by incorporating SMS marketing for retail into your communication strategy.

Our SMS marketing features for retail stores

Made for retail stores like yours, Textline offers many features to enhance your marketing strategy. 

See how one-on-one texting, SMS surveys, and bulk SMS can drive customer engagement and sales. Plus, you can save time by integrating automations into your workflow and learn to grow your SMS contact list with text keywords.

It's all possible with Textline. 

Bulk SMS

Send a text message to many retail contacts at once with Textline's bulk SMS functionality. These bulk messages are designed to reach large audiences. You can share brand announcements, survey retail customers, send promotions, or just keep customers updated.

Automated texting

Many revenue-creating communications can be automated in retail. Automations allow your marketing and sales teams to schedule communications in advance and send them en masse. For example, you could automate abandoned cart reminders, seasonal offer texts, or promotions for events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

You can also set up automated workflows that trigger texts to send around the clock. This includes setting up after-hours messages, sending welcome messages when customers sign up for SMS communications, or triggering a text to send automatically on a customer’s birthday. Overall, automation frees up time for your team and improves customer communication and retention. 

Text surveys

Text surveys are a great way to get valuable insights from your customers and brand community. Retail stores could send customer satisfaction surveys, NPS surveys, or other custom polls via text. 

Textline users also have the option to automatically send these customer feedback surveys. For example, some users send them after any customer support interaction. Others opt to send them at scheduled intervals throughout the year. Overall, the insights from text surveys can be used to improve service, increase revenue, and create better customer outcomes.

Two-way texting

Textline's retail SMS messaging solution is not just one-way. Instead, engage in  two-way texting with your retail customers and staff members. Communicate with them in real-time and wherever they are.

Two-way communication via SMS allows you to get responses quickly from customers. This allows you to quickly resolve support cases, answer customer inquiries, or get feedback about a purchase. Plus, enabling two-way texting for customers allows you to have a genuine back-and-forth conversation. This is helpful no matter your texting use case. Textline also allows you to include emojis, GIFs, and images in your messages. This can make messages feel more personal and on-brand.

Text keywords

Use text keywords to drive engagement and grow your contact lists. Text keywords are words your customers text in to get involved in a conversation or subscribe to SMS messaging. For instance, a retail client selling bikinis and swimwear might attract new customers with the ad 'Text BEACH to (555)-555-5555 to sign up for SMS marketing communications and get 20 percent off!' 

Text keywords encourage customers to message your number first, which counts as an opt-in and grows your contact list. This strategy helps businesses form engaged contact lists to drive sales and keep SMS compliant. 

Take it out for a spin

Try Textline for free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Why retail stores should text


of businesses say SMS marketing “significantly” or “overwhelmingly” increased revenue generation. — Attentive Mobile


of consumers say they’d opt into an SMS loyalty program if they’re offered a deal or coupon in return. — eMarketer


of people that received a promotional call to action via text act on it. — LearnHub

Simplify your retail store’s phone number registration

To text customers in a compliant way, your retail store must first register your phone number. This requirement, implemented in 2023, is required by mobile carriers. It’s an effort to curb spam text messaging. Regardless of the use case, businesses must submit information about their brand and SMS use case for carriers to review.

While it may sound complex, the registration experience with Textline is stress-free. Textline users can register appropriately in the app. All you need to do is fill out our pre-built forms that ensure you provide the necessary information to get approved. Plus, Textline automatically submits this registration form on your behalf.

Do you want to test the platform first before registering? You can with Textline. Sign up to test the platform and its features.

Frequently asked questions for retail SMS

Is SMS marketing for retail legal?

Absolutely! SMS marketing for retail is legal, so long as your business complies with federal and state text marketing regulations. Textline works with you to ensure your SMS marketing content and customer text communication is compliant. We stay up to date on industry changes and keep our customers informed. 

Do I need to use my phone number?

Textline can provide you a new phone number to use, or can often text-enable your existing phone number. Our solution adapts to your business needs.

Does Textline work if I have multiple store locations?

Yes. You can configure departments and teams based on location, language preference, and other factors. Textline is customizable and built to scale as your business grows.

Try it for free
No credit card required

Why retail stores can trust Textline

Invaluable tool. Easy to use. Excellent archiving. Can launch mass SMS. Can choose recipients based on tags. I like everything about Textline! I use it all day, every day.

—Jewels C., Capterra

Amazing product! Super easy to use and lots of great features.

—Corrie P., Capterra

I think something that really sets them apart from other text services we've used in the past is the support we receive from the Textline team. I have been recommending it to anyone that has been looking for an SMS platform and will continue to recommend!

—Jill C., Capterra
icon Ready to start texting?
Try it for free

Additional resources for the retail industry

Retail SMS integrations

Integrate Textline with the tools your retail business already uses to create personalized shopping experiences and send tailored promotional alerts. Connecting your retail software to SMS can drive customer engagement and sales.

View all integrations
Group of shapes, each containing an integration company logo

Start growing your retail business with texting today

Join thousands of retail stores around the country that are using Textline to communicate with their customers. Experience the benefits of creating personalized messages that are read by customers and providing exceptional customer experiences with text messages. Textline’s features are robust but easy to use as everything can be done from one centralized dashboard. Communicate better, follow up more often, and drive sales with Textline. Textline's retail text message marketing solution makes it easy to reach customers with your brand message wherever they are. Contact our expert team today to book your demo and discover how Textline can add a competitive advantage to your retail business.

Try it for free
No credit card required

Still have questions? Text us: +1 415-849-4349 or contact us here.