15 SMS Statistics for Ecommerce Marketing in 2023 You Can Actually Trust

Conversion Rate & Other SMS Marketing Metrics With KPIs for Success
Ayla Solomon
Ayla Solomon

Apologies to the father of American literature, but Mark Twain was wrong.

“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Mark Twain, Not a text-messaging expert

Mark Twain

Not a text-marketing expert

In truth, four kinds of lies exist: Lies, damned lies, statistics, and SMS marketing statistics.

Exaggerated. Outdated. Or flat-out bulls***.

Why does that matter? Because adopting a new marketing channel is risky. Budgets are tight and time is scarce. Especially in ecommerce where relying on misleading data will either get you nowhere … or exactly where you don’t want to be: Using the wrong platform and wasting resources.

If you want to make informed decisions on whether SMS is right for your ecommerce business — plus, the kind of results you should expect — this guide can help.

We did the digging, substantiating, and verifying for you.

Uncover the real value of text marketing with 15 SMS statistics in three categories + a bonus:

Consumer Habits & Frequency

  1. 61% Purchase Online via Mobile
  2. 85% Check Texts Within Five Minutes
  3. 95% Subscribe to Less Than Seven Brands
  4. 57% Want Two or More Texts Weekly
  5. 73% Have Purchased From SMS Marketing

Audience Engagement & Preferences

  1. 48% Are More Likely to Engage With a Discount
  2. 60% Want Texts About Interests & Purchases
  3. 61% Want the Ability to Text a Business Back
  4. 57% of Consumers Worry About SMS Frequency
  5. 73% Would Opt-Out For Too Many Texts

Business Value & Forecasts

  1. 96% Say Text Helped Drive More Revenue
  2. 55% Use Text Messages for Marketing
  3. 11.7% of Shopify Stores Send Text Messages
  4. 66% Not Using Text Say They’re Likely to Start
  5. 6–35% Average SMS Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

Bonus SMS Statistic

🤑 One Metric to Rule Them All

Want to save all the stats, facts, and figures for later … or share them with your team?

No problem! We compiled our research into a single download, complete with every source. 

SMS Marketing Statistics

1. 61% of Ecommerce Sales Are Made on Mobile Devices

In 2021, ecommerce sales reached $5.2 trillion worldwide. This is expected to grow by 56% percent in the coming years and hit $8.1 trillion by 2026.

The majority of those sales are made in the palm of consumers’ hands.

During the second quarter of 2022, mobile ecommerce accounted for approximately 61% of online shopping orders and 71% of retail site traffic.

Although these numbers are no secret, very few brands have adjusted their strategies to meet the demands of mobile marketing. Chief among them, leaning hard into the one place we turn to most often.

Ecommerce Sales by Device & Mobile Ecommerce Sales (Worldwide)
Source: Statista (2022 Q2, 2022 & 2022)

2. 85% of Consumers Check Their Texts Within Five Minutes

You know those endorphin-triggering phone notification? Followed immediately by the urgent need to look?

Well, you’re not alone. 85% of consumers check their texts within five minutes of receiving them. And 33% check within the first minute.

If we break this down by demographics (more specifically, by generation) our one-minute bucket gets even bigger with 44% of Gen Z consumers checking within 60 seconds.

Even more interesting, because phones don’t yet have promotional versus personal inboxes, who sent the message (a friend or a company) doesn’t affect the time in which they check. However, it does affect what they do next.

Speed Consumers Check Their Text Notifications
Source: SimpleTexting

3. 95% of Consumers Subscribe to Less Than Seven Brands

SMS isn’t the easiest subscriber list to grow. But it is the most valuable.

95% of consumers who are subscribed to a brand via SMS are signed-up to less than seven. 52% opt-in for two-to-three.

People are quick to give out email addresses; slow to hand over their phone numbers.

This is a double-edged sword for ecommerce businesses. Although it’s tougher to get opt-ins, once you do, text subscribers will be highly engaged and far more likely to purchase.

Simply put, thanks to selectivity, it’s the least crowded inbox in the world.

Number of Brands Consumers Are Subscribed To
Source: Klaviyo

4. 57% of Consumers Want Two or More Weekly Texts

Frequency can be a tricky thing to master. Every audience is unique.

Luckily, this stat provides a great place to start.

Most people want to receive SMS messages from brands at least once a week. 57% want two or more weekly. Another 18% are happy with a daily text.

To find a balance, begin with two relevant, personalized, and well-timed texts per week. Then, watch your results — keeping a close eye on customer engagement rates, revenue, and opt-out rates. Based on those SMS marketing metrics, you can quickly and easily optimize your strategy.

Frequency Consumers Want Text Messages
Source: Attentive

5. 73% of Consumers Have Purchased From SMS Marketing

The ultimate goal of any ecommerce marketing channel is to drive sales. Whether you’re converting new subscribers into customers or boosting retention and re-orders, it helps to know your efforts will pay off.

Thankfully, we have reliable data on this one (and plenty more in the last category).

73% of consumers have purchased after receiving a text from a business and 56% of those have done so two-to-three times.

Purchases as a Result of SMS Marketing
Source: Klaviyo
Audience Engagement & Preferences

6. 48% of Consumers Are More Likely to Engage With a Discount

SMS content influences engagement rates and (in turn) impacts your results. Some brands do best to send purely transactional messages, others thrive with incentive-driven texts mixed heavily with content marketing.

What drives engagement the most?

Special offers and deals (48%) rank first — think time-sensitive, promo codes, loyalty programs initiatives, and incentives. Second place belongs to critical information (44%) — like order receipts and shipping notifications.

Factors That Influence SMS and MMS Engagement
Source: SendGrid

7. 60% of Consumers Want Texts About Interests & Purchases

Knowing discounts are in demand, what sort of content should you add to your SMS messages?

60% of consumers say a text is most engaging when it’s relevant to their past purchases and interests. Closely behind at 52% is the inclusion of a direct website link.

So, what’s a winning text message formula? Relevant content + discount + link.
Factors That Make Text Messages From Brands the Most Engaging
Source: Yotpo

8. 61% of Consumers Want the Ability to Text a Business Back

Similar to chatbots (but far more human), rapid two-way conversations set SMS apart from email. It’s a coveted feature for good reason.

These conversations create a customer-support communication channel with better response rates and direct feedback opportunities.

61% of consumers want to be able to text brands back. In particular, they want to use two-way functionality for appointments, customer service, and shipment tracking.

Topics Consumers Want to Text Business Back About
Source: SimpleTexting

9. 57% of Consumers Worry About SMS Frequency

By now we’re seeing clear trends around what people love. It’s time to find out what they hate.

Frequency and privacy take the top spots — with 57% worried they’ll receive too many texts and 52% fearing their personal details will be shared with other companies.

These are fair concerns but are somewhat linked to the “old ways” of text. These days, regulations and best practices are far more common. Being aware of the value each subscriber brings reduces spam risk, making SMS more beneficial to shoppers and brands alike.

Reasons Consumers Would Not Want to Receive Text Messages From Brands
Source: Yotpo

10. 73% of Consumers Would Opt-Out For Too Many Texts

Understanding why consumers opt out can help your SMS marketing strategy as much as (or even more than) the reasons they opt in.

73% of consumers would unsubscribe if they receive too many texts.

Any other complaints? Yes. Relevancy, timing, focus, and purpose are all significant concerns.

There are plenty of SMS campaign cheatcodes, but these three tips will help immensely. First, read your texts out loud. Second, pretend you’re sending them to your “best friend.” Third, get someone else to proofread them.

Factors That Would Makes Consumers Unsubscribe
Source: Klaviyo
What about “open rates”?

You’ve probably seen the famous SMS result boasting a ~98% average open rate.

Truth be told, open rates for SMS text messages can’t be reliably tracked or measured.

Instead, they’re inferred from delivery rate via SMS carriers. Combined with the insight that consumers don’t leave their texts unread, we have an equation (of sorts) …

Delivery rate + consumer insight = open rate

Nonetheless, it’s mostly bulls***. In fact, we’ve been guilty of it too. If you spot any references to open rates on our site, you have full permission to call us out!


11. 96% of Marketers Say Text Helped Drive More Revenue

We live, work, and shop on our mobile phones.

This reality is the reason 96% of marketers report that SMS helped them drive more revenue. And, why almost 60% reported that texts “significantly” or “overwhelmingly” increased revenue generation.

It’s clear that mobile marketing and communication channels are paving the way forward for ecommerce. With no intention of slowing down.

Source: Attentive

12. 55% of Businesses Use Text Messages for Marketing

As the value of SMS grows, so too does the number of businesses using it.

By how much?

27% year-over-year. In 2021, 42% of business owners and digital marketers used a text-messaging service. As of 2022, it’s 55%. Additionally, more than one in three business owners (38%) are using text marketing to boost sales and offer promotions.

Of course, it’s crucial to keep in mind these are all businesses. What about ecommerce itself? 

Have You Texted Customers in the Past Year Using a Text Messaging Service
Source: SimpleTexting

13. 12% of the 150k Largest Shopify Stores Use SMS

We know that 55% of all businesses use SMS marketing. There’s a telling change, however, in usage among Shopify stores specifically.

Here’s the discrepancy …

While 66.7% of the top 1k Shopify stores use texts, a mere 11.7% of the top 150k do likewise.

SMS offers a direct and personal mobile-first solution, yet only 11.7% of the 150k largest Shopify stores use text messaging to communicate with their customers.

Source: Recart

What do the top stores know that the others don’t? If you’re a Shopify store not using SMS, talk to us so we can help you identify where SMS can help grow your business.

14. 66% of Marketers Not Using Text Say They’re Likely to Start

Interestingly, 36.5% of marketers believe their competitors are using the channel. Only 4.2% could say with certainty their competitors are not.

Is this part of the reason 66% of marketers are planning to implement the channel? We think so.

The success of SMS is no longer a secret. Marketers are adopting the channel and seeing significant increases in revenue — the results speak for themselves.

Integrating SMS into Marketing
Source: Attentive

15. 6–35% Average SMS Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

Click-through rate is an important metric for all marketing efforts. It signifies whether or not your audience is willing to take the first step toward a purchase.

With SMS, no click … no sale.

Despite its significance, reported CTRs on ecommerce SMS vary greatly. Sources swing from 6% on the low end to 35% at the high. Some sources list ranges of CTRs — making it that much more elusive.

Still, even the conservative estimates showcase the channel’s ability to drive action.


One Metric to Rule Them All

At the end of the day, there’s only a single stat that truly matters: Money.

We’re talking about return on investment (ROI) as well as SMS’s percentage of total online revenue and additional revenue.

Together, these numbers give you a real representation of the value of SMS.

At Recart, the average ROI is 36.8X across all customers. That’s a weighted average factoring in each business’ SMS revenue so that smaller accounts with low billables (but high returns) don’t throw off the number.

Among our top customers, ROI drops to 28.2X. Why? Because the larger an ecommerce business, the more channels they operate on.

SMS as a percentage of total revenue is 19% for all customers. For top customers, it’s 29%.

Lastly, SMS’s incremental value — the percentage of additional revenue driven by the channel — averages 14% across all customers and 33% for the top.

Recart SMS ROI and Revenue
These results come from us at Recart, based on hundreds of clients, painstakingly tracked and reported … can you tell our marketing team worked hard for this one?
Attribution is tricky — making it the perfect metric to manipulate potential SMS customers.

Although 1-day view (receipt) and 30-day click “show” fantastic results, those standards are too low to truly count as incremental revenue. In most cases, they represent customers who would have bought from you anyway.

Instead, we attribute a sale to Recart only when a customer:

  • Clicks on an SMS link and places an order within 7 days
  • Or, uses a (unique) discount code from a message

Always be cautious of default attribution windows. If the same list with the same sends and the same offer produces more sales, that’s rarely incremental. It’s over-attribution.

SMS Marketing Ecommerce Analytics Dashboard Example

How Text Message Statistics Will Help Business Owners 

While Twain never dealt with SMS marketing lies, ecommerce business owners face them every day. 

Wasting time or resources on incorrect data isn’t an option when you need to make informed decisions quickly. You need an honest view of SMS to confidently adopt the channel. And you need it now.

Why the rush?

As more businesses begin to text and more consumers opt in… the more difficult standing out becomes.

Start now, get the most out of SMS, and create some stats of your own.

If it’s too intimidating, Recart can do it for you. A team of dedicated experts fully manage all our SMS accounts — Book a call to find out more!

As Recart’s Content Manager, Ayla has 10+ years of experience in marketing — the last four specializing in B2B SaaS. She has a keen eye for detail, a strong focus on creative direction, and a mission to create content that is valuable to her audiences. When Ayla isn’t creating content, she’s a devoted cat mom with a penchant for buying too many house plants.

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Uncover the real value of text marketing in three categories + an ecommerce 🤑 bonus