Keeping the tills ringing, 14 stats that outline the business case for SMS in retail

19th Jul 2016


Businesses are increasingly turning to messaging as a key technology for engaging consumers. 

And whilst OTT messaging is growing as a rich P2P offering, SMS endures within the enterprise.  Beyond straightforward mobile marketing (where 90 per cent of messages are read within three minutes of being received) it’s areas like authentication, loyalty and notification via Application-to-Person messaging (A2P) that is driving the market. 

There are of course good reasons why this is the case.  SMS is the most secure and reliable option for A2P communication.  It is also ubiquitous – almost all handsets can receive SMS and unlike OTT messaging does not require a data plan.

Virtually every industry sector can benefit from using SMS to communicate with consumers, perhaps none more so than the retail sector, which inhabits a highly personal world with multiple opportunities to make contact with consumers throughout their journey, from marketing messages through to customer service.

Moreover, as retailers increasingly embrace omnichannel practices that allow consumers to check items are in stock for example, trends like click and collect are also transforming the retail delivery experience by allowing the customer to choose, at their convenience, where to they want their purchases delivered to. 

And in a world that is increasingly driven by convenience, it’s absolutely vital to make sure the retail journey as optimised as it can be.  More than just building an engaging m-commerce site, retailers need to bring tactics into play that support consumer engagement objectives throughout the buying cycle.

Below we’ve outlined 14 statistics that outline the business case for A2P messaging in retail.

A2P messaging is growing

1.Recent research from the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (which indexed the messaging habits of over 6,000 respondents in nine countries) indicates that 76 per cent of consumers have received communications from businesses such as banks, healthcare and retailers via SMS.

2. And analysts expect the market to keep growing. Juniper Research for example forecasts the market be worth almost $60 billion by 2018. 

3. Elsewhere analyst firm mobileSQUARED indicates the value of A2P messaging to be $12.88 billion in 2015, rising to $58.75 billion in 2020.

Marketing with SMS

4. This study by Dynmark examined messaging across 1,500 mobile operators, indicates that 32 per cent of SMS retail marketing messages get a response within the first 15 minutes of being received.

5. Nearly a third of consumers in this study have subscribed to mobile marketing from brands, but 35 per cent of them are not receiving relevant messages.

6. The same study indicates that nearly two thirds (64%) of consumers that have subscribed to mobile marketing have made a purchase as a result.

7. This report indicates that 75 per cent of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS, rather than see adverts on mobile apps or whilst they're browsing the internet.

8. A URL link sent via SMS to your mobile website, landing page or to the app store significantly increases engagement. 19.3 per cent of people in this study indicated that they will click a link in an SMS whereas only 4.2 per cent of people will click one in an email. 

During the sale

9. Baymard’s cart abandonment index (which collates statistics from 33 different sources) indicates that the average cart abandonment rate is 68.63 per cent.

A simple SMS reminding the consumer that their cart is pending can help re-target a significant proportion of the undecided.

10. On average, less than half of basket abandonment follow-up emails are opened.

11. Yet this research indicates that 90 per cent of consumers prefer multichannel options for interacting with businesses, with SMS topping the list.

The last mile

When it comes to delivery of goods ordered, the convenience and personal nature of SMS makes well-suited for the delivery of mission critical information like when to expect a parcel or how to change a delivery time or location.

12. In this study 53 per cent of respondents cite SMS as the preferred method of communication when ‘on the go’.

13. Recent consumer research indicates that 23 per cent of us have received a notification for delivery of goods via SMS.  The rise in demand for convenience with services like click-and-collect and last-mile notification is helping to drive this sector. 

14. Elsewhere, this study shows that mobile messaging is the preferred channel for receiving delivery updates, with more than 50 per cent of those surveyed choosing this option for ‘on the day’ notifications.

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