Shopper Experience

Purewow's new service offers a way to make a purchase via text

The women's digital lifestyle brand is providing curated items. Reply to buy.

person holding smartphone

Purewow is texting the store to readers.

Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash

Shopping is coming to text messaging.

The latest example comes from women’s digital lifestyle brand Purewow, which is launching the service wowtext.

The platform offers users the opportunity to purchase curated home, beauty, wellness and family products by responding to a text message.

Here’s how it works: Readers of Purewow sign up and enter payment information. They’ll receive a weekly text message with editor-approved, which the service says is available at a discounted cost. If they opt to purchase one of the products, they can enter a quantity and make the purchase via text.

"At PureWow, we're dedicated to finding ways to make our readers' lives more meaningful, beautiful and manageable," said Kevin Stetter, Chief Operating Officer at Gallery Media Group, which owns Purewow. "Through wowtext, we're further demonstrating PureWow's passion and expertise in doing just that—and giving our readers access to amazing products at great prices just with the tap of a finger."

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk's VaynerMedia acquired Purewow in 2017, and created Gallery as an umbrella for the company’s media ventures. That puts the latest launch in the same lineage as WineText, a texting service launched by Vaynerchuk in 2020 that offers a daily discount on wine.

SMS marketing has been embraced by a growing number of ecommerce practitioners over the last several years. Research from email marketing and SMS platform Omnisend, which is used by 70,000 brands, showed that brands sent 94% more SMS than the year prior, and orders for SMS marketing increased 106%.

It could prove an especially appealing option for brands seeking to communicate directly with audiences in the wake of last year’s privacy moves from Apple that limit the ability to collect third party data on customers.

While SMS has been among services offered by marketing automation software providers like Klaviyo for a few years, Purewow’s approach shows how SMS can be used beyond marketing, extending to a shopping experience via text. Fast Company reported last year that the text-to-buy space is poised to see a growing number of entrants, including TextRetailer, Text2Shop and Walmart Luminate. Marc Lore, the head of Walmart's ecommerce business, is also the cofounder of the soon--to-launch Wizard Commerce, which will offer users the opportunity to have a text conversation with a brand about a product.

Like the inbox before it, the text message is a surface where brands can meet their audience where they are. It's among the areas where conversational commerce is poised to rise.

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