Market Overview

Zipwhip Finds 56 Percent of Consumers Want to Text with Businesses

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Survey finds the majority of consumers, small business owners prefer to
text each other more frequently

Zipwhip,
the original cloud software platform for two-way business texting, today
released insights from its latest survey, The State of Two-Way Business
Texting 2018. The study, which polled over 500 consumers and 250 small
business owners, looked to gain deeper insights on attitudes and
practices related to two-way texting. Top-level findings revealed
consumers and small business owners not only find value in two-way text
messaging, but want to engage in the mutually beneficial practice more
frequently, with 56 percent of consumers and 53 percent of small
business owners expressing a desire to text with each other more often.

Today, texting is a ubiquitous form of communication: the majority of
Americans (95
percent
) own a cell phone, while 77
percent
own a smartphone. This market penetration, coupled with over
200 million business phone numbers in the United States, has established
a strong demand for conversational business software. Texting not only
drives customer engagement and loyalty across nearly every consumer
industry, but brings efficiency to business communication channels and
provides consumers with a personal and streamlined experience. Most
small businesses are able to text-enable their existing landline, VoIP
or toll-free phone number, allowing for an affordable and familiar
communication channel via the medium customers prefer.

"As we move toward a mobile-first world, consumers want to communicate
with businesses in the same way they do with friends and family, and
that's text messaging. Texting is easier, faster and boasts a 98 percent
open rate," said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. "While texting was once a
tactic embraced for small-scale communication needs, it is now the
preferred method for communication and an invaluable part of the
customer journey."

Despite continued innovation and heightened consumer demand, the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to take comments on
proposed rules to alter the text-enabling process. These rules would
require toll-free subscribers to inform RespOrgs or voice service agents
to text-enable a toll-free line, and would cause businesses to face new
reporting obligations, incur additional expenses and waste precious time
enabling new phone lines.

While the proposed rules aim to prevent fraud, of the small business
owners surveyed, almost half (42 percent) expressed they would be
unlikely to text-enable landlines if it required more than two steps,
which would be the case with the FCC proposal. This hesitancy from small
business owners highlights the threat posed by the FCC to the ongoing
adoption of business texting and overall growth of a burgeoning market.

"While the FCC claims its proposed rules will aid in preventing
fraudulent communications, in reality, current industry safeguards
already do this effectively," Lauer said. "The proposed rules will only
benefit those with a monopoly on the toll-free voice registry, like
Somos, which was influential in bringing this issue to the FCC. Our
study proves both consumers and businesses want to communicate with one
another, but they want it to be an easy and familiar process. While our
industry continues to optimize and deliver on this need, the FCC ruling
threatens to halt innovation and benefit big business at the expense of
consumers and small businesses alike."

Additional key findings include:

  • When asked about business communication preferences, over 50 percent
    of consumers prefer text message over the phone, while one third
    prefers text message over email
  • Over two thirds (71 percent) of 30- to 44-year-olds said they would
    text a business more frequently if they had the opportunity, followed
    by 65 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
  • Almost half of consumers (41 percent) believe the FCC ruling will
    neither increase or decrease the likelihood of receiving a fraudulent
    text message
  • Two thirds of small business owners (63 percent) expressed they would
    be unlikely to text-enable landlines if they were required to pay $100
    upfront and $100 annually

As the original creators of the business texting industry, Zipwhip
provides enterprise organizations and SMBs with cloud texting software
using their existing landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number. A suite
of leading software integrations further help Zipwhip customers
communicate more efficiently, securely and compliantly.

Zipwhip asks consumers and small business owners alike to oppose the
upcoming ruling by the FCC. To submit a comment, visit the FCC website
for proceeding number 18-22 and enter your contact information. The FCC
requested comment on its proposal by September 7, 2018.

About Zipwhip

A Seattle-based SaaS company, Zipwhip is modernizing the business
texting medium by enabling text messaging to existing landline, VoIP and
toll-free phone numbers. Zipwhip pairs direct network connectivity with
easy, cloud-based software, so businesses of any size can give customers
the choice to "text or call" and handle two-way text conversations at
scale. Learn more about Zipwhip at www.zipwhip.com.

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