Maybe retailers ought to give SMS (text messaging) a closer look.
Only 29 percent of U.S. retail firms are actively using it, according to June 2016 research. Another 15.5 percent of surveyed firms are currently seeking a vendor to help design an SMS program.
Its benefits may be well worth it.
“Among those retail e-commerce professionals who do use text messaging to communicate with their customers, most look to it as a customer service vehicle, as well as for marketing promotions,” reports eMarketer. “According to the survey, nearly a third use SMS for both.”
While many retailers are sticking with email, SMS can be a good way for retailers to reach consumers.
“February 2016 research from independent analyst and consultancy firm Ovum found that many users in the U.S., as well as Germany, prefer to text for customer service,” notes eMarketer. “Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents said that one of the reasons they preferred to send a text to a company’s customer service department was because it was less time-consuming. Furthermore, 42 percent said they preferred to do so because it was more convenient than using the telephone.”
Another potential SMS benefit? A boost for customer loyalty programs. A survey from mobile marketing company 3Cinteractive, according to the research, revealed that half of U.S. internet users said they prefer receiving loyalty-related messages via SMS.