While the text message may no longer be the first choice for Person to Person (P2P) messaging, in the enterprise sector the use of Application to Person (A2P) SMS is skyrocketing. In fact, Ovum forecasts that by 2019, businesses will send 1.28 trillion messages a year, up from 1.16 trillion in 2016.
So what are the key factors driving this growth?
As well as mapping the future of emerging enterprise messaging formats like RCS and chat bots, our recent Enterprise Messaging Survey 2017, published in partnership with Ovum, engage with organizations across seven countries and multiple verticals, to explore the key trends in A2P SMS.
Here’s the 10 key A2P takeaways from the report:
- SMS is getting more actionable, with 23% of respondents increasing their use of two-way SMS during the previous 12 months to enable consumers to reschedule an appointment or have an SMS-based conversation with a contact center agent, for example.
- Innovation is driving growth, with businesses continually discovering new and innovative use cases for A2P. These span the gamut of transactional and promotional objectives, including appointment reminders, two-factor authentication, text donations, advertising and marketing, text-to-win and mobile vouchers.
- SMS is still one of the most trusted channels for sending marketing and promotional messages, which is why 42% and 35% of respondents, respectively, have increased their use of SMS for these purposes over the past year.
- Ease of access is key, with 48% of businesses sending more SMS messages than 12 months ago. This is due to increasing availability of application programming interfaces (APIs) to easily connect their customer engagement platforms directly into those of their SMS supplier.
- Pricing elasticity continues to play a role in the A2P SMS ecosystem, with 54% of respondents saying that they would send more A2P SMS traffic if the per-message price of an A2P SMS were reduced.
- Businesses are ready for an SMS upgrade, such as Google's soon to launch RCS (Rich Communications Service) Business Messaging, with 37% stating that new features such as custom branding, the delivery of enriched content, and read receipts, would encourage them to send more SMS.
- Chat bots are set to play a significant role in increasing A2P SMS traffic, with 37% of respondents saying that more sophisticated and intelligent chat-bot platforms would increase their SMS traffic. This illustrates that enterprises are already acknowledging the role that SMS-based chat bots play in enabling two-way SMS.
- SMS is set to play an increasing role as both a fall-back for OTT-based chat bots, as well as a trusted channel for organisations to send consumers links to their chat bots, to initiate a conversation.
- Price elasticity in SMS is alive and well, with the highest proportion of respondents, 35%, indicating that their monthly SMS traffic would increase by between two and four times if an unlimited SMS fixed price option were available.
- SMS continues to endure as a key mobile interaction channel between enterprises and their customers. The fact that SMS is a universally available service on mobile devices, with global reach and interoperability, makes it attractive to enterprises seeking a simple, low-cost and reliable way to realize multiple use cases within their businesses.