Consumers prefer receiving text messages from brands — as long as they get enough value in return, according to Attentive’s annual State of Conversational Commerce Report, which surveyed 8,000 consumers across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
The survey found that 91% of consumers have either already opted into a brand’s SMS program or expressed interest in doing so. Furthermore, consumers are willing to share personal information in exchange for incentives such as free shipping, complimentary gifts, and tailored recommendations.
Attentive also found that 88% of consumers are open to two-way conversations with brands regarding products, while 87% are willing to text to resolve checkout-related issues. These findings suggest that conversational commerce – interactive, customer-driven experiences that facilitate the entire purchasing process, from initial awareness to post-purchase follow-up — has become widely adopted throughout the shopping journey, allowing brands to connect with customers and fill revenue gaps by providing personalized and prompt attention.
“Conversational commerce radically changes how consumers shop in their day-to-day, and SMS marketing is at the heart of this shift,” said Sara Varni, CMO at Attentive.
Consumers’ inclination to engage in conversations with brands over text suggests a willingness to share more than just basic contact details, as a vast majority of shoppers in the U.S. are willing to disclose their name, email, and gender to receive personalized recommendations.
The survey also found that consumers are on the hunt for value, with discounts being the most potent lever brands have to influence customers to spend more than planned. Unlike last year, when convenience was a priority, discounts have become the most sought-after incentive for shoppers, especially as high inflation and a shaky job market have impacted their spending capacity.
Despite their focus on value, consumers are willing to spend significant amounts of money on items that are marketed to them via SMS. In the U.S. alone, over 61% of consumers have spent between $50 and $500 on an item marketed to them via text. This represents a significant opportunity for high-end brands to market their products to shoppers via SMS — even to those shopping with them for the first time.
Eighty-seven percent of U.S. respondents subscribing to a brand’s SMS channel stated that they are likely to purchase when interacting with a brand for the first time.