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SAPLoudhouse-Consumer-SMS-Interactions-With-Brands-Sept2014Some smartphone users are checking their devices “to obsessive levels,” says SAP in a new survey conducted by Loudhouse. On average, about two-thirds of respondents – who are aged 18-65 and hail from 12 markets – claimed to check their smartphone for new messages or activity at least every hour, with 1 in 5 doing so at least every 10 minutes. This creates opportunities for brands to interact with consumers, per the study, which notes that on average, 16% of respondents’ weekly SMS exchanges are with businesses.

Looking at how SMS activity varies by region, the study finds that:

  • In the Asia-Pacific markets tracked, respondents average 80 messages per week, of which 22% are with brands;
  • In the European markets tracked, respondents average 60 messages per week, of which 15% are with brands; and
  • In the US, respondents average 124 messages per week, of which 12% are with brands.

Interestingly, the study finds more than 7 in 10 saying that SMS improved their experience of the organization overall, although the survey limited the interactions to the transport, logistics, banks and social networking sectors. (The operational nature of some of those industries likely lends itself to SMS interactions – such as for purchase tracking, alerts and notifications.)

One of the key benefits of SMS is, of course, its immediacy: according to a Dynmark analysis of almost a billion SMS transactions through 1,500 networks across 42 mobile operating systems and a multitude of countries, 43% of SMS responses occur within 15 minutes. Indeed, roughly 3 in 4 respondents to the SAP survey claimed that they’re more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS/text message than if it’s an email.

The SAP study paints a picture of a smartphone user that welcomes SMS interactions with brands, as 7 in 10 report that using SMS/text message is a good way for an organization to get their attention, 64% think that organizations should use SMS/text messages more than they currently do, and 62% would like to use SMS/text messages more to communicate with organizations.

Those results conflict with recent BlueHornet research, though, in which only half of US consumers surveyed said they would subscribe to a company’s text messaging program.

About the Data: The SAP research interviewed smartphone users aged between 18 and 65 years old in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and UAE. Online interviews were conducted in June/July 2014.

The research focused on customer experience within four industries: Transport, logistics/shipment, social media & online communities, and financial services.

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