It is not unusual for someone to have several email addresses that receive dozens, if not hundreds, of promotional messages a day.
Some ecommerce merchants obtain shoppers’ payment card information upfront and permission to send offers via text messages. It’s a way of developing customers while addressing marketing and fulfillment problems.
The individual signing up for Wine Text or Coffee Text is also granting permission for the business to communicate with her directly via what might be her most important communication channel.
To offset increased customer acquisition costs, ecommerce stores typically seek to increase customer lifetime value by earning more on each order or encouraging recurring buys.
- Provide a text number.
- Enter a shipping address.
- Enter payment information.
- Receive regular text offers.
The concept of obtaining payment and shipping info in advance is not restricted to text messages. The goal is to reduce checkout friction and address communication and inventory hurdles. The model likely applies to other forms of dialog.
Coffee Text offers an easy way for shoppers to buy coffee.
Entrepreneur and business guru Gary Vaynerchuk was among the first to use text messaging to sell products.
The Wine Text and Coffee Text model addresses this problem. Both encourage consistent reordering and, for Wine Text specifically, bulk ordering, since Vaynerchuk’s service typically offers a discount or free shipping for buying multiple bottles.
That could make inventory management easy.
Let’s compare it to email. Email marketing is a fabulous tool for ecommerce. But text messages are more intimate, at least for the moment.
This approach — get payment information upfront with communication permission — may address some of the problems ecommerce companies face in 2022.
Subscriptions are an excellent way to solve the CAC-LTV problem described above, but enticing subscribers is not easy.
Signing up for a permission-to-sell service such as Wine Text or Coffee Text is less commitment. The buyer provides payment information but not immediate approval to be charged.
Here’s how. A supplier could allocate, say, 1,000 units of a product to an ecommerce business, which has five days to confirm the quantity.
Getting started does have to be complicated. Try it with a relatively small investment alongside your other ecommerce endeavors.
That level of direct access is rare.
Wine Text does not offer fast delivery. A bottle of cabernet might not arrive for three weeks after purchase.
Text messages are different. Most shoppers have one mobile number. They receive few, if any, promotional text messages.
The concept is simple:
The business sends a text message to subscribers and sells 830 units. The business then orders only those 830 units. No guessing. No slow-moving inventory to hold later.
Perhaps privacy-induced changes (from Apple and others) to behavioral ad targeting are to blame. Or it could be more competition. Shopify, for example, reportedly added 2.5 million merchants from March 2020 to January 2022.
Applying the Concept
Vaynerchuk’s Wine Text claims to be “the easiest way to buy high-quality wine at ridiculously low prices.”
It is becoming more expensive for many merchants to find customers.
Shoppers reply to the Wine Text offer (at left) with the number of bottles to order.