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.
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.