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03/04/2020

Study: Retailers need to mobilize text interaction

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture

Constantly connected consumers increasingly seek to communicate with businesses via text.

According to the new “2020 State of Texting” report from business texting platform Zipwhip, 91% of businesses have sent a customer a text message, while 43% of customers have proactively texted a business. Almost one-third (32%) of customers have proactively texted a business and received no response.

When asked how they would prefer to communicate with a business for different interaction purposes, a leading 70% of consumers cited text as their optimal platform for scheduling. Other popular text-based interaction scenarios include sales/inquiries (55%), customer service/support (53%), and marketing/promotions.

Interestingly, consumers prefer email for some time-sensitive interactions, such as shipment tracking (60% email/20% text), alerts/reminders (60% email/19% text), and account security notification (63% email/17% text). A plurality of consumers only favored phone calls for recruiting/staffing interactions (45%).

When businesses that have not yet incorporated texting into their customer communications were asked to select reasons, a leading 42% said they don’t know. Other popular responses included believing customers don’t want texts (22%) and concern about being seen as spam (17%).

These concerns may not be unfounded. Sixty-five percent of consumers say they’ve unsubscribed from a business’s texts. Although this is down 12% from 2019, the top two reasons for unsubscribing include spam (31%) and receiving too many texts (30%), followed by customers not finding the texts relevant to them (18%). 

Other interesting findings include:

•    77% of consumers use texting more than other messaging tools.

•    74% of consumers prefer help from a human, rather than a chatbot.

•    One-third (33%) of consumers check their cell phone more than 30 times a day.

Zipwhip surveyed 1,000 consumers and 1,600 businesses in conjunction with SurveyMonkey.