New Study Reveals 450% Surge in Consumers Texting Main Street Businesses, Restaurants and Salons During COVID-19 Pandemic

October 12, 2020

Numa research sees significant boost in conversational commerce

OAKLAND, CALIF. (October 12, 2020)--Numa, a leading answering service powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that ensures businesses never miss a call or text, today released its latest research on consumer engagement with Main Street businesses. Its infographic, “COVID-19 Changes How Customers Shop at Main Street Businesses,” illustrates surging demand for conversational commerce among consumers and how businesses are evolving communications to service customers in stores and off premises.

“COVID-19 Changes How Customers Shop at Main Street Businesses”

“Our data, based on actual product usage data from small and medium-sized companies, indicates a shift in customer behavior prompted in large part by the global pandemic and shuttering of businesses,” said Numa Founder and CEO Tasso Roumeliotis. “Even before the crisis, customers had shown a preference for texting with businesses in addition to calling, but over the last several months there has been a dramatic increase in virtual engagement and a desire to communicate across multiple channels.”

Businesses today are not only struggling to meet consumer demand but also to adapt to new operational requirements that bring contactless solutions into the equation. With 98% of all text messages opened and 95% responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered, texting is one of the easiest and most immediate ways for businesses to strengthen consumer relationships—even from afar. Add to that the ability to accommodate curbside pickup and 24/7 communication, which mitigates the impact of limited staff and time away from stores, and businesses immediately possess powerful tools to take them beyond surviving to thriving.

After a deep analysis of user behavior, Numa findings include an increase in customers calling and texting businesses between March and June. Additional data reveals:

  • 450% overall increase in customer calls, texts, and Facebook Messages with Main Street businesses per month
  • 393% increase in contactless, text-to-order revenue
  • 11% of all messages related to curbside pickup
  • 748% increase in curbside order check-ins
  • 300% increase in missed customer calls answered by Numa
  • 120% increase in the number of customer calling and messaging
  • 43% increase in the number of customers shopping remotely

“There’s no doubt the pandemic has put many businesses on temporary pause,” adds Roumeliotis. “But it has also challenged them to be more creative, as consumers still want to shop and support Main Street while realizing the importance of doing so safely. By using new and existing messaging tools to connect from a distance, innovative businesses are opening doors and envisioning different ways to build and strengthen customer relationships. That’s something to celebrate.”


Numa is a phone and SMS virtual answering service created to help local businesses—Main Street USA—answer more customers with less staff and resources in an era where text messaging has become a preferred and more convenient way to communicate. Making a business number textable, Numa handles and responds to every voicemail, text, Facebook message with its AI-based platform that is always learning from employee-customer interactions—and adjusting its answers automatically in a voice uniquely tailored to each business.