Studies Show That SMS Is One Of The Best Marketing Techniques, But Most Retail Marketers Are Not Leveraging It

On overage, only 21% of emails sent by retail brands are opened by consumers, however, recipients open more than 98% of text messages they receive from retail marketers. Although text messaging is becoming popular as a marketing channel, most retail marketers and businesses are still not utilizing it.

Internet Retailer conducted research for OpenMarket back in the year 2016 and found that only 29% of retail brands were utilizing text messaging as a marketing channel or consumer service purposes. In comparison, 97% of retail brands were using emails for purposes such as marketing and consumer service. If we assume a significant growth in the last few years, it is not likely that SMS-based marketing has now reached or crossed the 50% threshold.

High-profile retail brands such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s Bloomingdales, Nordstorm, Kmart, Eddie Bauer, and Crate and Barrel are leveraging SMS- based marketing. The use cases of text messaging include purposes such as promotions, customer service, shopping cart abandonment, notifications related to shipping, and reminder, etc.

Recently, Yotpo conducted a survey on 800 adults and found that 51% of respondents wanted a text relation with their favorite retail brands. The survey was conducted on individuals from a wide range of distinct regions. 54% of respondents also wanted to receive discount offers through text messages.

During the survey, 48% of respondents stated that they had already signed up for text messages from brands. Earlier, Zipwhip also conducted a survey and discovered that 76 percent of customers were receiving text messages from different businesses. According to the survey conducted by Yotpo, 76% of loyalty program members choose to receive text messages. 41% of consumers prefer SMS as a communication channel while 46% preferred email as a communication channel. Social media came third (8%) after SMS and email as customers’ preferred communication channel, and 6% stated that their preferred communication channel is a phone call.

The survey conducted by Yotpo did not indicate the average number of retailer- text relations customers had. It is also not clear how much of this data can be generalized to the entire population of the United States as the sample size is very small and it was drawn from different countries.


Text messaging is a low-cost marketing channel and offers high response rates. Yotpo-owned SMSBump features case studies that demonstrate text messaging as a direct-response channel. These case studies also showcase text messaging as a tool to encourage engagement as well as loyalty among existing consumers. According to cosmetics retailer Kiehl’s, 73 percent of consumers who signed up for text messages purchased a product within only 6 months.

Texts are not a replacement for email but a complement to email and other forms of internet advertising, and using them together can be extremely beneficial for a brand.



Read next: Instant Messaging Users Will Jump To 4.3 Billion This Year, SMS Business Messaging Traffic To Hit 3.5 Trillion Messages In 2020

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