Last updated on June 25, 2024

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Kate Anderson
June 25th, 2024 | 3 minutes read
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Apple’s iOS 18 reveal sent a ripple through the marketing world with the announcement of RCS support. This could be a major turning point for SMS marketing, and here’s why eCommerce marketers should pay attention.

From exciting opportunities for boosting your SMS channel to some areas that still need to be ironed out, here’s what you need to know.

 

Think of RCS as SMS with Superpowers

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the next level of texting. Unlike basic SMS (Short Message Service) limited to plain text, RCS introduces a host of modern features such as brand personalization, verification indicators, advanced analytics like read receipts, enhanced customer interactions within message threads, high-resolution images, and more.

Essentially, RCS aims to bring the functionality of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage to standard SMS messaging.

Imagine sending a text with a short product video or a carousel showcasing your latest collection. Pretty cool, right?

 

What Does RCS Look Like?

When sent via RCS, a typical SMS message could look something like this:

RCS in messaging

 

How Does RCS Stack Up Against Regular Texting?

RCS blows the door wide open compared to standard SMS:

  • Brand personalization: Show off your brand personality with a brand logo, custom colors, and a dedicated business profile section, replacing generic numeric sender IDs.
  • Trust factor: Verified sender tags build trust and keep smishing scams at bay.
  • Visual appeal: Rich media like GIFs, videos, and carousels embedded within message threads, enhancing engagement globally. This can especially benefit international marketers.
  • Two-way communication: RCS enables smooth back-and-forth conversations, overcoming historical limitations in certain regions, and opening doors for deeper customer engagement.

 

Wait, There’s More to the Story

While RCS is undeniably exciting, there are still some question marks:

  • Global Adoption: RCS has been around for a while, but widespread support is still patchy.
  • Apple’s A2P Plans: It’s unclear if Apple will fully support business messaging (A2P RCS) in iOS 18, or if it’ll be limited to person-to-person (P2P) for now.

 

Uncharted Territory for Marketers

Despite the uncertainties, Apple’s embrace of RCS could be a game-changer for how brands connect with customers globally. 

Here at Yotpo, we’re keeping a close eye on these developments and adapting our strategies to leverage this new opportunity. If you’re eager to learn more about how RCS can transform your SMS marketing, reach out to your Customer Success Manager!

Stay tuned as RCS continues to redefine how brands engage with customers through enhanced messaging experiences. The future of SMS marketing is evolving, and Apple’s support for RCS is poised to play a pivotal role in its transformation.