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May 12, 2015

Mobile retailers must look to SMS for real-time engagement

SMS is the preferred method of communicating when on the go.

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Text messaging is the most effective channel for brands to contact consumers in real-time, according to research.

The survey by OpenMarket revealed that 93 percent of consumers use their mobile phone for SMS, while only 55 percent use it for email.

In addition, 53 percent of respondents claimed that SMS was their preferred method of communication while on the go. 85 percent would prioritise unopened text messages over emails and us notifications from apps. 50 percent also preferred SMS for delivery updates.

However, 59 percent of respondents wished to receive promotional information by email. 54 percent claimed that they always or mostly opened offers received by email.

The research also showed that trust of retailers remained key; only 43 percent of respondents said that they would share their phone number with retailers. Their main concern was that they would receive too many irrelevant communications.

"Retail is a very personal experience with unique consumer and purchase journeys," said Steve Brockway, Director of Research (UK) at eDigitalResearch. "The report underscores how preferences regarding brand interactions differ for every shopper.

"This means that retailers must consider these preferences when choosing how they engage with each one of their customers. A ‘one size fits all’ solution doesn’t exist, and retailers should evaluate each communication channel to ensure a smooth customer journey whenever possible."

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"This research truly reinforces the importance of a comprehensive communications plan for retailers, which includes using a variety of channels for each phase of the customer lifecycle," said Paul Murphy, Head of Commercial Development at OpenMarket.

Murphy added: "The continued shift to online shopping and growth of services such as ‘Click & Collect’ mean that it’s critical to provide timely delivery and collection information. Only SMS can offer the ubiquity, familiarity and effectiveness when it comes to these types of interactions."

The research, conducted between 22 December 2014 and 5 January 2015, polled 1,000 people.

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