Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock has made it clear that the brand wants to put in the hustle so their customer’s don’t have to. In 2013, after the successful launch of MyLowe’s, he said, “It’s a tool to help the consumer when they’re shopping to be able to manage and maintain anything around their home.” He added, “So if you think about anything you have to do as a homeowner to kind of maintain and organize your home, we provide a vehicle for the customer.”

Lowe’s quietly introduced texting as a channel this summer, echoing the sentiment of being a vehicle for their customers. Texting has always been larger than social, but brands have had a hard time utilizing services to bring text messaging into their customer communication tool chest. From internal prioritization to a lack of services that serve enterprise-grade customers, the ability to test and launch text messaging has been a bigger headache than most brands wanted to deal with. Lowe’s, however, put in the effort internally to prioritize customer service because the data tells them to.

China is the genesis of many customer communication trends, including mobile messaging with businesses. But the cost of SMS was prohibitive for businesses to join. In the US, 95% of all mobile phone plans include unlimited texting, allowing businesses like Lowe’s to get directly into the conversation via SMS. Platforms like Teckst can be directly integrated with the CRM platforms enterprises use, and are a vital part of the customer journey.

When a customer of Lowe’s wants to reach out to them, the option of having an additional channel is a major benefit to the consumer on their journey.  PepsiCo’s Chief Product Officer Mauro Porcini recently said, “We compete with the latest song of Beyoncé, with the latest telephone from Samsung or Apple. We compete for mindshare and relevance in the life of people.” He explains that the experience means more than the product and that the consumer dictates the experience they prefer.

With major players from JetBlue to Lowe’s listening to their customers and launching texting, the internal politics were put aside because of the roar of consumers demanding they launch the channel. As 2017 comes to a close, more brands will begin exploring texting, and 2018 will conclusively become the year when companies launch the channel not because it’s a luxury, but because it’s a necessity.