Consumers want to support local biz, but communication is a challenge—is texting the answer?

by | Dec 2, 2021 | Public Relations

Today’s consumers want more engagement from the brands and businesses they shop with, and many have expressed interest in texting with those companies. And despite the “Main Street” type of relationship they may have with local businesses, consumers are making the same request. New research from voice, data and messaging solutions firm Cloudli Communications shows 93 percent of consumers who support local businesses want both text and voice options when communicating with them depending on the circumstances.

Despite 94 percent of respondents wanting to support small businesses, 87 percent of patrons opt to shop online because purchasing locally is too inconvenient

Communicating remains a challenge with local businesses. The remedy, according to 78 percent of respondents, is simply having the ability to text local businesses, according to the firm’s survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The new survey highlights consumers’ desires to communicate with local businesses via text and voice depending on the situation. An overwhelming number (76 percent) of consumers reported they’d be more likely to frequent a small-to-medium size business that offers text messaging.

Over two-thirds said they’d make the switch to shopping local if the business offered text messaging

Interestingly, consumers ranked phone calls and the lowly mailed letter as the least preferred methods of business communication. Conversely, consumers still want to speak with businesses, but on their own terms. A comparison of consumer text and call preferences revealed consumers want to reach businesses—regardless of sector—by text message.

Consumers want to support local biz, but communication is a challenge—is texting the answer?

The ability to text message favorite businesses and brands is highly desired by all age groups

When polled, over 80 percent of all generations surveyed reported wanting to text their favorite brands and businesses.

Respondents were nearly unanimous that there is a time and place for both messaging and calling depending on the situation, though 77 percent of Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z shared that they’re more likely to shop with a business they can text.

“As a small business owner, it can be challenging to stay on top of incoming and outgoing communications,” said Gavin Macomber, CEO of Cloudli, in a news release. “Making use of technologies that enable your team to employ a blended communication strategy provides an opportunity to connect with your customers in a manner most convenient to them.”

Other interesting findings from the survey:

  • 84 percent reported they’d respond to a text message from a business
  • 66 percent of consumers noticed an increase in text messaging from businesses during the pandemic
  • 7 out of 10 consumers reported that text messaging local businesses has made their shopping experience more convenient
  • 70 percent shared they’d recommend a local business that offers text messaging options to their friends and family
  • 70 percent of consumers found text message appointment reminders to be among the most helpful

Download the full report here.

Consumers want to support local biz, but communication is a challenge—is texting the answer?

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter