As an early access partner to RCS, the rich communication service standard set by Google and mobile network operators, we are privy to some compelling reports and surveys. Albeit these reports are no secret, but I wanted to point out some interesting comparative details between the Business Messaging Exploration attitude and usage (A&U) reports for the United Kingdom and Mexico.
Since many of our customers operate in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, this info should help companies running SMS APIs there, or are planning on setting up shop in Mexico.
People in Mexico are more likely to see messages from businesses as useful
Eighty-three percent (83%) of survey respondents in Mexico said they ‘strongly agree’ that messages from businesses are useful, while the number is sixty-seven percent (67%) in the UK.
This statistic is interesting because relatively the same proportion of people in both countries said they get messages from businesses a few times a week or more (UK: 60%, Mexico: 66%.) Also, the business senders are similar: Banks, telcos, and e-commerce companies (UK.)
And the most frequent content for both countries are promotions and deals (the second most frequent for the UK are reminders and news for Mexico.)
Could it be that people in Mexico are more receptive to SMS marketing? This one will take more research.
PIN codes are the most useful & no one likes spam
This one is a no-brainer. People can’t log in or continue to use a service without that SMS PIN code. Whether companies are forcing two-step verification, or people are turning on 2FA, this is good news, as SMS verification is much more secure than only a password.
People in the UK like reminders, too, as it was a close second in usefulness to PIN codes.
While promotions and deals are the most common forms of business (A2P) messaging content, people in both countries reported that they hope businesses take advantage of rich communication but send less spam (or at least get consent to send promotions.)
People are more likely to send businesses a message in Mexico
In Mexico, 69% of respondents said they send businesses a message at least once a week, while only half of the respondents said the same thing in the UK.
There are two possible reasons for this. First, OTT platforms (WhatsApp, in particular) are more popular in Mexico (and Latin America in general.) It’s easier to know that you can respond to a rich content message and WhatsApp was designed for it.
Second, SMS from a business is typically one-way communication –or at least that’s the muscle memory from mobile users. According to the respondents in the UK, the biggest opportunity for improvement in business messaging is building confidence in a response from the business (customers aren’t sure they’ll get a response.)
Getting a response was the top area for improvement in Mexico as well, but there’s a close second and third area for improvement –sharing of private information and how long it will take to get a response.
RCS will be more prevalent in Mexico
And the rest of Latin America... and Eastern Europe.
Over 75% of smartphones in Latin America run on Android, and Android Messages (Googles SMS app) is already capable of RCS. The exploration report confirms this number, as 74% of the survey respondents use Android devices (respondents in the UK were nearly split with the Apple iPhone.)
It’s important to note that 85% of the world’s smartphones run on Android, as low-end devices are economically feasible in poorer parts of the world.
So, if you’re expanding to emerging markets, how will you take advantage of RCS when it’s deployed in our omnichannel messaging API?