If all companies working across mobile engagement/CPaaS globally had received a dollar each time they had heard that application-to-person (A2P) SMS’s days were numbered (pun intended) well, let’s just say, there would be even more $1 billion+ revenue ‘unicorns’ out there.
Person-to-person (P2P) SMS volumes might be buckling under the weight of chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat, but the A2P world is a whole different story. With a projected global annual market value of $60 billion come 2025, A2P SMS and CPaaS, in general, is seeing impressive growth. And the US market alone is set to be worth north of 20% of this.
As P2P SMS tapers, A2P Soars
Conceived back in the mid-1980s, SMS was never intended to be two-way. A decade later, it morphed into a 2-way P2P mobile engagement powerhouse more by accident than design, capturing the world’s imagination in the process. People just felt at ease with it. A2P SMS (drawing upon its history and spiritual roots) is proving to be the ubiquitous digital channel of choice for marketing, transactional, and informative content delivery in 2020.
A2P SMS is now most definitely regarded as being a valuable two-way channel and the return path for messages is only made possible thanks to SMS enabled numbers, whether they be short or long.
Changes in technology are undoubtedly revolutionizing how phone numbers are used. People now not only tend to keep hold of their aging smartphones longer but also their mobile numbers. But large blocks of numbers are now being snapped up for ‘virtual’ use as well.
The value of virtual numbers
When our Mitto team members talk about the versatility of virtual numbers and exactly how they can benefit enterprises, there still seems to be a real air of mystery around them, so let us dispel a myth straight away: there is precious little difference between a virtual phone number and a regular one. There, we said it. Just think of virtual numbers as regular ones that happen to be hosted by a virtual service. But do not let this detract you from understanding just how powerful they are.
So, what can virtual numbers really do for your business? Let’s take a look at perhaps the most frequently requested use case we see and one which encompasses and embodies all of its benefits: anonymization.
Ensuring both employees and customers remain protected wherever possible should be a given for all businesses but actually doing this can be easier said than done. But enter stage left the virtual number to smooth the way, powering phone number anonymization (aka: number masking).
How we use anonymous numbers
A number is drawn from a pool and allocated (for example) to a driver for the duration of a journey. It could be a taxi journey or a delivery. Uses cases here are only limited by our creativity! That number is shared with the client and should they wish to contact the driver, the virtual number is used, masking the driver’s real number. Virtual numbers are not attached to a phone and once the engagement has ended, the number is returned back to the pool. The same goes for the client if the driver wishes to engage directly with them. This all ensures personal contact details are protected at all times.
So, whether making calls from an existing phone (while showing a virtual/masked number on the caller ID), receiving calls, or sending and receiving text messages, all functions remain normal and the virtual number customer experience is no different from the regular.
We strongly recommend you incorporate the power of virtual numbers into your mobile engagement pathways and, just like everything else CPaaS related, we make the whole end-to-end process rapid and seamless. Mitto’s advanced customer engagement technology is built exactly like our enterprise clients – agile.