The Dominant Force of SMS in Conversational Commerce

Messaging apps, chat bots, in-app messaging: Conversational commerce has taken customer service by storm. With many brands offering new and inventive ways to engage with their customers, more traditional communication channels may not come to mind when speaking of conversational commerce. Indeed, just as voice may be considered the original channel of conversational commerce, SMS is also a time-tested channel for great customer engagement that continues to dominate the growing trend. According to a HeyWire Business study, up to 75% of customers prefer SMS for customer support over other channels. Given the ease, naturalness, and immediacy of texting, conversational SMS is therefore a logical next step toward driving sales and providing superior customer experiences.

Conversational SMS as a channel for rich customer experiences

While SMS has long been used as a prime channel for marketing, it’s only recently that brands are delivering rich customer engagement with personalized service on this channel. Fashion retailer Nordstrom decided to turn SMS into a means of offering truly personalized support for everything from product research to sales transactions. Their TextStyle service allows customers to text information about items of interest, and the retailer in turn texts personalized recommendations and a streamlined sales process complete with a verification code. Customers enjoy immediate, tailored service and a one-stop shopping experience all at once. In other sectors, SMS is similarly used to help customers manage their transactions and even prevent fraud. Financial institutions such as Chase and Bank of America use conversational SMS for critical notifications such as account balance and suspicion of fraud, allowing customers to take immediate action and prevent costly and harmful situations. Hotel chain Marriott also allows guests to request services through SMS, enabling quick and easy customer engagement for services ranging from dinner reservations to concierge and valet services.As a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and conversational commerce platform, Vocalcom enables optimized customer experiences through conversational SMS with its full two-way conversational SMS channel, complete with an enhanced suite of features for greater conversational support. Brands may engage quickly and efficiently with customers through numerous advanced features such as text delivery confirmation, personalization of content and sender/recipient information, SMS flash, enriched SMS, and chat through SMS. In addition, SMS campaigns are driven by intelligent robots for efficient targeted marketing, and campaigns may also be easily tracked as real-time results demonstrate campaign results to ensure that brands are creating the most profitable SMS campaigns possible. Given that text messages are opened at a rate of 97% and that people are five times more reactive to texts than emails, conversational SMS is key to driving sales and customer satisfaction. 

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