Shop by Text Message – An Emerging Platform

The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Thank U, Text” in December of 2018.  In this interesting article about mobile commerce trends, Rebecca Malinsky, describes the organic growth of Shopping via text, or Shop by Text.  It seems the rise of conducting commerce inside the text message channel has captured more interest and growth than we imagined just 6 months ago.  In many ways, it was obvious that mobile commerce would go in this direction, unparalleled convenience, speed and potential for AI engagement; however the shape it takes for face to face retail environments is analog in nature.  In essence, they are using text message as a faster, better and more mobile replacement for a traditional phone call. But there is much more on the table.

Perhaps more impressively – Mobile’s share of ecommerce revenues will continue to make gains, and reach 45% of the total US ecommerce market within 3 years. (Sources: Business Insider, Dept. of Commerce)

It certainly is an exciting development that shopping in stores or shopping on the internet can be reduced to the simplest, most convenient form, a la Shopping via Text.  In our current era of internet evolution, the concept of logging in to an account, or checking out through a multi-step checkout process seems daunting and tiresome. Everything else has been made more efficient, like using Uber for personal transportation, or Lyft to catch a ride, or swipe right to like a person on a dating app.  Yet stubbornly online checkouts have remained moribund.

Thus enters the new wave of mobile checkout solutions, each competing with each other, and each requiring yet another account to log into.  Apple Pay, Amazon Payments, Shopify, One Touch, etc. It seems like every mobile platform has their own mobile payments wallet. Each platform will win it’s share of users and transactions.  Yet none of these has the ability to be universal.

“In addition to my phone number, he had my credit card info, so if he sent a photo of something I liked – such as a pair of blue plaid pants he pinged me recently – I could buy it simply by typing “Yes!” on my phone”  (Source: Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2018)

Shop by Text has the opportunity to transcend some of these barriers and cast a new light on online or mobile shopping.  The concepts created for ecommerce by Shop by Text are: One Text Payments, Artificial Intelligence (read: machine learning), Shopping Cart Abandonment deals and promotions, Excess inventory, improvements in marketing ROI, the broken ecosystem of SMS marketing finally fixed.

This is not wholly about ecommerce (although ecommerce companies have the most to gain) but more about mobile commerce as piece of the pie of online sales, and about reaching customers where they are, which is increasingly on a mobile device.

As Rebecca acutely points out, in 2018 U.S. mobile shopping sales are projected to reach $210 billion, which would be an increase of 21% over 2017. (Source: Worldpay)  

 

More exciting news and product announcements coming soon…Stay tuned!

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About the AuthorBlu Atwood