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Over half of UK businesses speak to customers through mobile

Saf Malik
April 6, 2021

Industry reports highlight the growth of mobile messaging apps

More than half of UK businesses now use a mobile messaging app such as Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers according to an industry report.

The report from Esendex and commissioned by PwC surveyed more than 4,000 businesses and showed how industries including IT and telecoms, retail, finance, professional services, and manufacturing have significantly increased their spending in this area over the last three years.

This investment is set to pay off for businesses as the number of people using mobile messaging apps is projected to grow to three billion by 2022 according to figures from Statista.

Yet SMEs are lagging behind large enterprises when it comes to the uptake of this newer but growing technology. Only 45 per cent of UK-based companies with fewer than 250 staff use this form of customer communication channel, as opposed to 62 per cent of larger organisations.

The report also shone a light on the impact of Covid-19 on mobile messaging. With more companies using mobile channels for emergency communications and alerts (up 42 per cent), event-driven marketing (up 40 per cent), and customer notifications and reminders (up 38 per cent) when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Esendex senior brand development manager Amy Robinson said: “Covid-19 has had a profound effect on not just businesses here in the UK, but across the globe.

“It has forced companies across all industries to reflect on the way they communicate with their staff and their customers and to make necessary adjustments and improvements in order to avoid getting left behind while their competitors harness the power of various communication channels including SMS, social media and online chat.

“From our research, the UK has a higher-than-average uptake of mobile messaging with 52 per cent of firms utilising this form of communication channel, compared to 47 per cent globally. There is a lot of talk that the pandemic has changed the way we live and work forever, with hybrid workforces expected to become the norm.

“The same can be said for customer engagement – many businesses have taken a real step forward over the last year in the way they connect with those who pay for their products and/or services; it’s likely that this trend will continue as companies put more emphasis on customer growth and retention during what is still a very tricky time.”

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