Drive Higher Engagement by Appealing to Each Consumer’s Mobile Messaging Preference

By Dan Slavin

Mobile’s impact on shopping has been on the rise since the arrival of the smartphone. With the great opportunity that mobile presents for retailers, it is also presents new challenges. In this post, I address one of these challenges – the varying ways that consumers want retailers to engage with them over mobile.

Mobile is a platform with a range of channels, and each consumer has his or her own mobile engagement preference, with email, text message, in-app push message being the primary channels.

According to recent research, SMS has reached a tipping point, catching up to email and surpassing push messaging as consumers’ preferred mobile communications channel for receiving promotional messages, such as offers, mobile coupons and information on upcoming sales.

Here’s a sneak preview to data from a research report we plan to publish in the coming weeks in which shoppers share their preferences for receiving retailer messages promoting sales, discounts, and coupons on your mobile device:

When research participants were asked what their preferred way is for receiving mobile messages from retailers promoting sales, discounts, and coupons, here is how they responded:

  • 41% prefer email
  • 38% prefer text message
  • 21% prefer in-app push message

The data support the need for retailers to employ a marketing mix over mobile – one channel only addresses one segment of the market.

And it’s not only promotional messages, but also access to loyalty programs. Most retailers have brought their loyalty programs to mobile through their mobile app. According to CodeBroker research, however, more than one-third of consumers would engage with loyalty programs if they could use a text message link to access their rewards information – which is higher than via a mobile app.

The takeaway is that retailers that appeal to each consumer’s mobile engagement preference can drive much better engagement results. Retailers than don’t, are potentially missing out on large segments of the market.