SMS trumps email as most convenient communication channel for Australian consumers: Podium

SMS has trumped email and become the most convenient channel of communication for consumers, as half (49%) of Australians think businesses that communicate via SMS appear more professional than those that don’t. 

According to a study from Podium, a B2B communication and payment platform almost half (46%) of Australians have deleted an email from a business without opening it in the last 24 hours, while almost two-thirds (62%) have ignored an unsolicited call from a business in the last week. However, 44% are more likely to use a business if it uses SMS to communicate with them.

Younger people are more inclined towards businesses that utilise SMS to communicate, with almost 50% of Australians under 35 years of age more likely to respond to a business over text, and to continue to use that business in the future.

Overall, the tolerance for poor business communication has decreased since the pandemic among consumers. While more than half (57%) of Australians are less likely to engage with a business if the channel was inconvenient, 55% would choose a business that offered convenient communication options, even if it was more expensive.

Still, 36% of respondents believe local businesses don’t understand their preferences as a consumer. 50% would much rather communicate with a business via text or online chat than phone calls, and 70% prefer speaking to local businesses with a human presence rather than one that uses bots or AI.

Among responses from different states, the top three reasons for consumers to unsubscribe from a business’s marketing communications are overly frequent correspondence, misalignment of interest and a lack of personalisation.

Dave Scheine, country manager, Australia at Podium, said: “Australia is home to millions of innovative local businesses, but in a saturated market it’s not easy to compete on price or product. Our research shows that many consumers now judge businesses based on communication, with many willing to pay more money for a more convenient experience.

“Support for local business is strong and inspiring in Australia, but consumers are clearly losing patience for businesses that fail to cater to their habits and preferences. As global economic headwinds circle, and Australian households become more cautious about their discretionary spending, every lead, interaction and sale takes on added significance for local businesses.”


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