Getting back to my original question – whether the article I read about cashless shoppers is correct – I’d have to say I debunked the concept as a whole. Yes, people are buying more online. Yes, some people are using debit cards more frequently than cash, but not everywhere.
And by ignoring the sectors where cash still dominates, the article is potentially leaving the impression that only online retailers can benefit from SMS messaging.
That certainly isn’t true.
Online retailers can make great use of SMS messaging. But so can pubs, discount stores, travel businesses, and virtually any sector of business. Let’s take a look at how:
- Pubs can send “two for one”, “free appetisers with entrée”, or a percentage off coupon to customers via SMS messaging. Why let customers go to the pub down the road when you can give them a great deal in yours? So they pay in cash, that’s great! They also carry their mobiles wherever they go and love to get a deal from their favourite pub.
- Discount stores can alert customers of new stock, flash sales, or special events in store to increase foot traffic. Many shoppers still prefer to see what they’re buying in a store. These shoppers also carry their mobile everywhere and will see your SMS message virtually the instant you send it. That can entice them to stop by. So what if they pay in cash? It’s more money in your business’ pocket no matter how it looks.
- Travel agents, private hire, and other transport businesses can utilise SMS messaging in a variety of ways. Travel agents can raise awareness of new travel opportunities by sending messages to previous customers. Private hires can send messages to let their fare know when they will arrive. Transport companies can use SMS messaging to track and communicate with their fleet, or let customers know when they’ll be there to pick up packages.
The more you look, the more ways you’ll find to use SMS messaging in every sector. Cash, debit, credit or even bitcoin doesn’t matter. SMS messaging is a tool you can use in your business because just about everyone uses a mobile in the UK. Nearly 77% of Brits will have a smartphone in 2016 and some small percentage have basic phones. By the end of 2017, over 81% will have smartphones.
In the end it doesn’t matter how they pay, so much as how the live. We’re a mobile society now, and SMS messaging is still the best way to reach almost everyone quickly and inexpensively. See, now I’m getting carried away! Of course, I’m doing it deliberately to make a point.
We’d love to hear how you feel about cash versus digital payments. Do you still use mobile coupons if you pay in cash? Let us know in the comments.