SONIC Drive-In saw five times more app downloads with rich communication services (RCS) than with previous multimedia messaging services (MMS), a pilot conducted by Mobivity from January 14-17 revealed.

Backed by Google’s RCS Business Messaging, the pilot delivered interactive messaging about the SONIC Drive-In app to targeted customers across over 3,500 locations. As a result, SONIC saw five times as many app downloads versus MMS mobile messaging and a three times higher app registration rate versus standard downloads from MMS recipients. In addition, SONIC saw a 50 percent purchase rate from consumers who registered on the app.

Mobivity and SONIC ran the pilot without leveraging offers, discounts or other incentives typically used within the quick service restaurant (QSR) category.

SONIC’s RCS pilot provides an example of how brands can leverage RCS to enhance communication with customers. Given its multimedia capabilities, RCS is meant to succeed standard short message service (SMS) and streamline cross-device messaging. RCS enables companies to visually brand their messages so consumers can tell who the message is from. With RCS, brands can also send image carousels that include an embedded call-to-action (CTA) via text. Through secure mobile transactions, RCS could be a major game changer for digitally native companies to conduct business via text.

In 2018, Google announced that it would use RCS as the basis for the Android messaging platform, Chat. Shortly thereafter Samsung and Google partnered to ensure RCS works cohesively between their messaging apps across all devices.

According to Mobilesquared, two percent of US consumers could receive an RCS business message on their mobile phone at the end of 2018. By the end of 2019, the figure grew to 17 percent.