October 12, 2021
Plivo’s survey reveals holiday shoppers want to hear from retailers

Plivo, the cloud communications platform that enables businesses to engage with their customers, announced the results of its Holiday Shopping Communications Survey. The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Plivo, polled over 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, revealing the manner and channels customers prefer when communicating with retailers.

The survey found that nearly 9 in 10 Americans (87%) would want to receive communications from retailers they shop or want to shop with, most commonly via email (66%). About 3 in 4 Americans (74%) would opt in to receiving SMS/text messages from retailers, primarily for shipping/delivery notices and updates (45%) and coupons (43%).

Of those surveyed, 1,222 US adults ages 18+ said they will be shopping for the upcoming holiday season — one that, due to supply chain issues, will likely be impacted by delays, shortages, and higher prices. For retailers with a poor communication strategy, this could mean unhappy customers.


Key insights into holiday shoppers’ communications preferences include:

Holiday shoppers are open to receiving communications from retailers.

93% of Americans who plan to holiday shop this year would want to receive communications from retailers they shop with or want to shop with. Their preferred form of communication is email (70%) followed by SMS text messaging (41%).

Holiday shoppers over 35 are open to direct mail communications, while younger holiday shoppers are more likely to prefer in-app messaging. 

Among those who plan to holiday shop this year, adults ages 35+ are more likely than those 18-34 to prefer to receive direct mail communications from retailers they shop with/want to shop with (40% vs. 21%). Meanwhile, younger adults ages 18-44 are more likely than older adults 45+ to prefer in-app messaging (32% vs. 10%).

Holiday shoppers are likely to opt in to text messages.

83% of holiday shoppers would opt in to receive SMS text messages from retailers, with the top notification type being shipping/delivery notices and updates (54%) and coupons (52%). This means SMS is a particularly valuable channel for communicating with shoppers about product availability and shipping timelines this holiday season.

Some holiday shoppers are more likely to prefer curbside pickup.

Holiday shoppers ages 18-64 are more likely than those 65+ to opt in to curbside pickup notifications (35% vs. 15%).

“With ongoing supply chain disruptions, shipping issues and shortages of key products such as microchips, holiday shopping is going to look pretty different this year,” said Anusha Venkat, product manager for Plivo Messaging. “To help consumers cope with these changes, and prevent gift-givers from feeling stressed and frustrated, retailers need to be smart about how they communicate with customers — reaching out to them at the right time, with the right message, via the right channel.”

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