Matcha Tea wants SMS tech to be used more in consumer spending

Is the SMS message about to make a comeback in the mobile marketing world?

Long thought of as a bit old hat, the SMS message could be in line to be used by consumers when speaking to brands, rather than vice versa.

Canned health drink start-up Matcha Works, which sells green tea in a variety of different flavours, wants to give consumers the option of buying its products via SMS instead of a subscription.

It describes subscription services as ‘not workable.’

According to SaaS firm Zuora, 58m people in the UK now subscribe to services – nearly 90 per cent of the population.

How does the technology work?

If a consumer wants to reorder Matcha Green tea for the first time, they text Matcha Works with an SMS message with ‘reorder.’ The company then sends back a message which says for example: ‘Last time you ordered “Dairy Free Matcha Latter – +Almond M*lk/12 PACK” x1. It then gives the consumer the option to reply “yes” to order the same again or “other” to try something different.

If the consumer texts “yes” the order is resubmitted. If they text “other” they are given a list of six different options, which include almond milk, oat milk, sparkling water and sparkling watermelon.

The consumer then picks, for example “3”.

An SMS message is sent back to clarify whether they want to buy a “6” or a “12” pack and prices and delivery costs are mentioned.

The consumer then replies “12” to which the company sends a message asking “So that’s Matcha Green Tea + Oat M*lk 12?”

They are then asked to reply “yes” if they want to use the same shipping and payment details as before or they can update their payment details by sending an SMS.

The SMS service works with all major UK phone operators and a dedicated app is not needed to make orders. To reorder, users will first need to purchase products via its website where they will need to give their name, billing address, card details and phone number. The phone number is then linked to the account via its IT systems.

Havey Hodd, CEO at Matcha Works, said: “We think this technology could really disrupt the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) landscape and become the new way we all order food, drinks and other consumer products online.

Co-founders Rory Jeffries and Harvey Hodd

“We initially tested WhatsApp for the platform but we decided SMS would be more effective as it’s used by more countries around the world.”

The company wants to license its SMS technology to other food and drink brands and to make a push into the US next year.

Matcha brands itself as an energy drink without the sugar crash and is stocked in Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

The tech is being showcased at London Food Tech Week, a festival for food and drink brands and companies using tech to change the food and drink market.