In 2019, 69% of people would rather use their phone than approach an employee in a store.
Consumers also used mobile devices to manage their finances, make online purchases, access government services, and receive telehealth care. Customers also want to control how companies talk to them - 85% of smartphone owners prefer messages as compared to calls and emails, 55% ignore marketing emails due to a flood of emails in their inbox, and 29% never listen to their voicemails.
“When we want something, we expect our phone to tell us where the product is being sold at a store nearby, and even tell us if it’s in stock this very moment. And when we are ready to transact, we expect it frictionless and fast.” says Allan Thygesen, President of Americas at Google.
Texting is taking the center stage as the time to react is much shorter in comparison to email. The open rate of texting is 98% compared to the 20% open rate of emails, nearly 5 times higher. 45% of texts are responded to - 8 times higher than emails where only 6% are answered. The response time of texts is on average 60 times faster as texts have an average of 90 seconds to be answered where email takes an average of 90 minutes.
Before COVID-19 changed the way consumers interact with businesses, 68% of businesses used some form of messaging to contact consumers, but during the pandemic, nearly everything has become virtual.
The contact-free economy is making brands rethink their strategies to help consumers use their devices during a transaction. Many brands are moving the focus from email to texts, with special offers and mobile-only discounts.
Others have started to accept orders through instant messaging or two-way texting with a representative and have started to use text messages to keep customers updated about store hours and safety policies. Curbside pickup is now becoming more widespread - before the pandemic, many businesses were not offering curbside pickup and are now scrambling to set up a system to do so.
Learn more about how the power of mobile communications impacts business here: