Retailers Slow to Use SMS, Pre- to Post Sale

By Amber Dressler, Website Magazine

From interactions with peers to the receipt of personalized promotional offers, SMS is a familiar and easy way to communicate today, yet according to a new OpenMarket mobile messaging report, the large majority of retailers are not using the communication channel to engage with customers.

In fact, compared to traditional channels like email (97 percent), phone (66 percent), social media (82 percent) and mobile apps (32 percent), the results show that SMS was among the least frequently used methods of communication for retailers (29 percent). Brands are, however, open to trying with over half (62 percent) of respondents who don’t use SMS seeing the channel as an opportunity to drive revenue or improve customer experience.

“SMS may not be a new technology, but the utility and capability of mobile messaging is still greatly untapped by many retailers,” said Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. “The retailers who have already embraced SMS are seeing success in terms of efficiency, reach, and business impact—setting a strong example for others to follow. As the survey results indicate, there is a lot of room for retailers to capitalize on the opportunities SMS provides.”

While SMS can seem obtrusive – smartphones are typically always on-person during waking hours – consumers are open to communicating through SMS with brands. OpenMarket reports that 75 percent of millennials prefer SMS messages for real-time notifications of deliveries, payments, promotions and surveys. SMS is woefully underused within the buying cycle considering the value from pre- to post sale.