Consumers are open to engaging with retailers via text for a wide variety of interactions.
According to the “2021 State of Texting” survey of over 2,000 consumers and businesses from business texting platform Zipwhip, 70% of business respondents are texting their customers today. Out of all business respondents that started texting in 2020, 34% did so as a direct result of the pandemic, and 77% of those say they’ll keep texting after COVID-19 through.
The increase in business texting matches data the survey captured on consumer behavior and demands. Close to six in 10 (58%) consumer respondents said that between texts, phone calls or emails, texts are the best way for businesses to reach them quickly.
Nearly half (46%) of consumer respondents say they would like the option to pay a business by text if it was done securely, but only 29% of business respondents say they would consider accepting payments by text. Beyond payments, the survey reveals businesses have an opportunity in 2021 to capitalize on additional texting preferences from their customers.
Consumer respondents said that the most valuable kinds of texts they received from businesses in 2020 were appointment reminders (64%), shipment and delivery updates (48%), and discounts on products or services (29%).
The survey also uncovered data about when and how often consumers use their mobile phones. Sixty-four percent of consumer respondents are spending more time on their personal cell phones every day, and of those, 26% are spending more than four additional hours a day on their devices. Two-thirds (67%) of consumer respondents check their phones within five minutes of waking up in the morning, and 34% check them immediately, a 62% increase from 2020.
“Most businesses have realized over the past few years that texting was their missing communication channel, and for the remaining few who hadn’t yet, COVID-19 was a wakeup call,” said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. “The overnight shift to remote work, remote socializing, remote errands, cemented the need for a quick and easy way to communicate with customers. After forming this habit for the last year, we’re not going back.”