How many savings apps have you downloaded and used for a while, then you either got bored with them, or decided the deals weren’t good enough, and eventually forgot you still had the apps at all?

If that’s happened to you, you’re not alone. According to a new report, “the era of the app may be coming to an end.” Vibes’ newest annual U.S. Mobile Consumer Report says “consumers delete apps at such a dizzying pace that brands may not want to rely on that mode of engagement for mobile shopping deals for much longer.”

So if your favorite stores and brands don’t offer digital deals to you in an app, how will you find out about them? The same way you communicate with your friends and family – via text.

Vibes’ report found that “text messaging reigns supreme for brand-consumer conversations.” Shoppers surveyed for the report said that accessing coupons and receiving rewards directly to their phones via text message are the two most likely new ways they plan to use their phones in the year ahead.

More than half of respondents said deals and offers are the primary reason they opt in for texts from brands, and they increasingly prefer to receive them that way rather than having to seek out offers in an app.


“Apps are too easy to download, ignore, and delete,” the report states. “In-app behavior such as acting on coupons and deals can be easily and efficiently replicated outside of apps via messaging and mobile wallet offers.”

Mobile wallet use, as compared to text messaging, is still far from mainstream. But Vibes found that shoppers are “getting more and more curious about how to use mobile wallets to tap into coupons and offers.” 28% of survey respondents said they use mobile wallets, compared to 22% last year. “Deals seem to be driving this increase,” the report reads, because mobile wallet users “hope it will make their life easier and result in better offers.”

Text messaging remains the easiest way for marketers to offer deals directly to shoppers. But there are dangers in that approach. Your email inbox is probably already overflowing with marketing messages. Do you really want to be bombarded with offers via text as well?

“Brands must be careful in how they manage messaging,” Vibes cautions. 86% of those surveyed said they have unsubscribed from brand texts because they got too many messages, or offers they weren’t interested in. And even willing text recipients can be picky – a third said they’ve unsubscribed merely because deals weren’t delivered at what they considered to be an appropriate time, such as too late at night or on the day of a sale without enough prior notice.

Vibes’ findings are in line with previous reports that advocated text messaging as a low-tech but effective way to deliver deals. A couple of years ago, a 3Cinteractive survey found that “customers are not using up to 75% of the grocer apps on their phone,” so it recommended that grocers consider other ways to reach their shoppers – like text messages.

“Mobile messaging may seem old-fashioned in the age of social media, but it’s a vital way to keep customers close,” the Vibes report concludes. And when you consider all the emails you ignore and the apps you never use – texts may be just what it takes to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to save money.

Image source: Text Gorilla


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  1. Pingback: the APP is dead - long live the text? - deranged.mederanged.me

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