Why every on-demand platform needs SMS

Juan Pablo Espinosa Padilla

Known for their disruptive business models and intense focus on convenience, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have totally revolutionized the customer experience. And, while all their accomplishments are amazing, nothing stands out quite so much as how they’ve kept their on-demand platforms brimming over with both buyers and suppliers.

If you think about it, the on-demand business model really just means connecting demand to supply, but if you don’t invest in drawing enough buyers and sellers into your ecosystem, you won’t succeed.

So, how do you do it? How do you engage and keep the buyers and suppliers you need to build your on-demand platform?

Focus on your customers

Whereas traditional advertising and social media campaigns can be useful to build buzz and create brand recognition, these tactics won’t help you keep today’s on-demand customers. These buyers expect companies like Deliveroo to find them on the communication channels they use with their friends — channels like Messenger or WhatsApp. And, they want their takeout orders delivered with notifications and alerts, and in a fast, seamless way.

SMS can reach these buyers more effectively than any other channel. After all, text messages don’t require an internet connection or app installation, and they’re used pretty much everywhere in the world. SMS messages also have a dramatically higher open rate than any other medium. The highest open rate for emails that we’ve found is 24.82%. SMS stands at 94%.

Be strategic

Businesses can use SMS for all kinds of customer communication, and we know that blanket messages are a thing of the past. So, to get the most out of your on-demand SMS strategy, here’s what we recommend.

  1. Keep it simple. With SMS, most people just want the information they need ASAP. Be direct and don’t waste a word.
  2. Show your customers that you care. Let’s say you’re building an on-demand hotel platform, like Hotel Tonight, and you want to show your customers that you value them. Why not send an SMS message at the end of their stay and encourage them to book with you again with a special discount?
  3. Get valuable customer feedback. Very few customers actually call companies anymore, or open email surveys, or interact with on-site widgets. But, if you send a quick SMS at the right moment in the customer journey, you’re likely to get valuable, real-time feedback about your customers’ experiences.
  4. Ask for new suppliers. If you’re building a ridesharing platform, and you need more drivers, learn how SMS can help kickstart referral campaigns. Everyone with a phone can receive SMS, and these messages are also effective in reaching people across multiple countries.

MessageBird makes SMS easier

Communication is the single most important pillar of any on-demand platform, and SMS has the power to connect buyers and suppliers to your service faster and more reliably.

At MessageBird, we’ve invested in operator licenses, direct carrier connections and intelligent routing technology that saves our customers’ costs, reduces risk, and helps connect people on every continent.

If you want that kind of functionality and value for your business, get in touch!