As a parent of children who still have not fully accepted that when I’m on the phone it’s not the time to ask me where their crayons are or tell me how big the quetzalcoatlus is, I have found myself relying more and more on text messages to catch up with people. For reasons more complicated than needy children, brand owners also are finding that SMS is how they can connect with consumers as shopping habits have evolved.

Earlier this year, Attentive released a report that surveyed more than 5,000 responses. In that report, it showed that consumers increasingly are opting in to receive text messages from brands with 81% subscribing to at least one brand through SMS.

In the past three months, 63% of survey respondents who subscribe to a brand made a purchase from a text message, indicating consumers are more likely to be engaged with a brand if they are opted into SMS, the report finds. These consumers also expect interactions with brands to be conversational, as 90% of respondents expect fast response time and more than 74% expect a direct response from a real person, it adds.

This research is shining a spotlight on conversation commerce, which is defined by interactive, people-driven experiences that support the consumer buying experience, converging text messaging and shopping.

“The mobile device is the new storefront for brands,” said Sara Varni, chief marketing officer of Attentive, in a statement. “With a decrease in physical store presence, businesses are trying to figure out how to create a high touch experience in a digital world. Conversational commerce meets customers where they are — on their phones — and now brands can deliver that same curated and personal experience through two-way messaging.”

Attentive research notes that conversation commerce taps into the three consumer shopping trends: convenience, hybrid shopping and loyalty perks. The following are highlights of those trends from its “The State of Conversational Commerce in 2022” report:

  • Convenience has evolved: How consumers think of convenience, in terms of shopping, has expanded and become more personal. Expanding beyond delivery speed, convenience includes access, a seamless buying experience and meeting customer expectations, it notes. Businesses need to understand which aspects of convenience matter most to their customers, it adds.
  • Hybrid shopping is here to stay: A majority of respondents (89%) reported participating in hybrid shopping ― the use of both in-store and online elements ― to get access to information and receive assistance with decision-making. Text message marketing has the opportunity to augment and scale in-store clientele relationships, for brands to bring curation and customer service into a consumer’s phone, according to the report.
  • Loyalty has leveled up: Almost 86% of survey respondents are opted into at least one VIP or loyalty program in exchange for perks and priority access. When there is clear incentive, consumers are more willing to directly share their preferences and needs for immediate value, which are the building blocks to zero party data, it states.

As beverage-makers look for new ways to engage with consumers, conversation commerce could be the ideal way to build on the path to purchase.