When businesses consider which communication channel to use when engaging customers, text messaging (SMS) is at the top of the list. Known as A2P messaging, this process of connecting with consumers via application messages is skyrocketing. To that point, 1.7 trillion SMS messages are expected to be sent by companies in 2018, according to Portio Research.
The reasons behind this growth? Simply put, A2P SMS is the ubiquitous, cost-effective, secure, trustworthy inevitable and direct channel for businesses to communicate with their customers. And, there is a wide range of use cases to back that up. But, just how much can this communication channel improve multichannel business and relationship practices?
Here are five ways in which A2P SMS benefits the retail and ecommerce industries.
It’s stickier than email. Not only do some 7.3 billion people send SMS message regularly, but when users receive messages they also read them quickly. SMS has an open rate of 99% and 90% of consumers read an SMS within the first three minutes of receipt, while just 36A% average open rates for emails.
Flexibility to reach one or many customers. When your business wants to keep a target group informed or you need to handle mass traffic, one-way messaging is available. But when you need bi-directional communication to create dialogue with your target group you can opt for the two-way messaging. In both cases, make a memorable campaign by using a specific number /short code or make it unique by using your brand name in the message header.
A reliable customer lifecycle go-to tool. Variety of ecommerce platforms and A2P SMS create a unique synergy that gives customers the convenience and instant interaction. A2P SMS is used for authorization, authentication, product information, order notification, reminders, coupons, vouchers loyalty programs.
After a customer is hooked, it can be a handy customer service tool. It’s a perfect vehicle when a call-back request is necessary, you want to offer account status information, a customer must make a service request or you want customer feedback.
During the operations phase, texts are equally valuable. SMS offers a simple way for placing orders, password reset, delivery updates, stock availability reports and, of course, order, payment or shipment confirmation. It’s also worth mentioning that all of this can be done with the ability to track, making it easy to know whether customers are getting the message.
The simplest way to provide service notifications. A2P SMS is the most streamlined way to deliver service details in the retail/multichannel world. A consumer orders a product at the POS and registers with a cell phone number. Then a consumer receives a text when the product is ready for pick up. Straight to the point and no hassles.
Fast, safe and reliable. Top-end A2P providers can handle time- and business sensitive A2P messages through established direct connections to mobile network operators. In addition, fast delivery is a huge plus thanks to short latency and high throughput rates.
With the retail landscape shifting at a rapid pace, it’s imperative that companies in this space have a communication channel that can navigate those changes. Whether it’s the ubiquity of text messaging or it reliability, security and cost-effectiveness, A2P SMS is a solid choice.
Margit Anglmaier is Vice President Corporate Communications at DIMOCO