Mobile marketing firm Vibes has published the findings from its annual US Mobile Consumer Report, suggesting that consumers are hungrier than ever for great deals from brands they love, but that the app economy may be losing steam as text messaging reigns supreme for brand-consumer conversations. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

The report, now in its fourth year, shows that deals continue to be a driving factor for mobile consumer loyalty: 85% of consumers say they are more likely to shop at a store with a loyalty program in place, than one without. However, these same consumers are savvy: they strongly prefer to hear about offers, loyalty point rewards, and other deals through direct text messaging from brands they admire and trust; 53% say they would choose a brand with a mobile messaging platform over one without. And, while mobile wallet adoption is still emerging, 28% would want to get offers right to their mobile wallets from brands they trust.

"Brand marketers often feel that they have to choose between mobile messaging programs or app development, but our Mobile Consumer Report indicates that it's not an either-or decision," said Sophie Vu, chief marketing officer at Vibes. "We conduct this survey annually to give marketers a gauge for evaluating the best ways to engage with consumers through mobile. As we look to the busy pre-holiday season and Holiday 2019, brands are under pressure to understand the evolving role that text messaging and mobile wallets play in their customers' shopping habits. We hope this survey provides useful data for mobile marketing strategy in the months to come."

Key takeaways from the Vibes 2019 US. Mobile Consumer Report included:

  • Deals are king, but must be sufficiently generous
    All else being equal, 85% of consumers are more likely to choose a store with a reward program over a store without one. One-quarter of consumers that have opted in to mobile messaging have unsubscribed or considered doing so because they are being messaged about deals they don't consider good enough.
  • Brand mobile apps are a revolving door
    While consumers add 2.6 new brand apps to their phone every year, on average, 1.5 are deleted. The only constant on consumers' smartphones is their native messaging platform and in fact, more than half (53%) of all consumers would choose a brand with a mobile messaging platform over one without.
  • Believe it or not, the mobile wallet on your phone is in fact, a completely functioning wallet
    With a whopping 75% of consumers stating they've used their mobile wallet in the past year and 22% motivated to try the mobile wallet as a way to organize coupons, offers, and loyalty cards, we're seeing a shift in consumers using it beyond just a payment solution.

"Although email marketing casts a wide net, open and engagement rates are on the decline --in the single digits. In contrast, mobile apps reach fewer people but tend to be the most loyal users. Right in between these two channels are mobile messaging and the mobile wallet, the sweet spot of modern mobile marketing," said Vu. "When consumers use mobile wallets for payments, loyalty cards, ticket delivery, and coupon redemption, they realize that these wallets let them connect directly with brands they love without having to download an app. We're seeing conversion rates of 35-50% for brands savvy enough to capture consumers' attention through this platform. By combining the power of reach with mobile messaging and the strength of engagement through personalized content delivery in the mobile wallet, trusted brands can breakthrough the clutter and be relevant."