You can’t beat the ubiquity of text messaging. It works on every phone, even those you have to flip to close.
But such technology is still untapped by some businesses when it comes to reaching out to customers. Agoura Hills, Calif.-based TouchCommerce, a provider of online engagement solutions, thinks businesses who fail to enable text are missing a prime opportunity — and has a solution to change this.
TouchSMS lets companies engage with customers through text messaging so they can more quickly answer questions or dialogue about their product.
Marina Kalika, the company's senior director of product marketing, said SMS messaging makes sense in a lot of ways as an option for businesses to reach out to customers. Most smartphone users stick to a small group of core apps, and text messaging is one of them.
“It engages the user on a channel they’re already at,” she said. “We’ve looked at user behavior, and found there’s usually about five core apps that people stick to.”
If a customer navigates to a company’s website from a smartphone, they’d be able to get a much faster response by being able to text a message and get a rapid reply instead of navigating through various sub-pages.
The solution taps America's love affair with text.
A report last year from Seattle-based Informate Mobile Intelligence, which tracks and measures consumer use of smartphones in 12 countries, found that US smartphone users makes or answers six phone calls per day, send and receive 32 texts and spend 14 mins. on chat/VOIP apps per day.
In contrast, the report found that smartphone users in nine of the 12 countries measured spent the bulk of their time on chat/VOIP and the least amount texting.
TouchSMS is the latest extension of several products from TouchCommerce that push on the touch theme.
The company offers a lengthy suite that expands on the touch theme, with other products like TouchSell, TouchConnect and TouchMedia. They are designed to support the range of ways in which customers interact with a company’s product throughout the entire cycle of buying and selling.
Josefine Fouarge, the product marketing manager for TouchCommerce, said that type of approach means TouchSMS could expand at some point beyond SMS messaging to instant messaging platforms, which are another popular way for people to communicate.
“SMS is still a very popular channel everywhere,” she said. “We are looking into integration with Facebook Messenger, though that’s still a channel that needs to be explored.”
Facebook wants to build out its Messenger service as an e-commerce platform, where people could make purchases or perform other transactions through the service.
The concept is catching on with SnapCash from the red-hot SnapChat, and monetization has been hinted as one of the reasons Apple may decide to take its iMessage service beyond iOS. Get ready for a world where everyone wants to make messaging a part of their business platform.