Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Bangkok,,Thailand,-,January,22,,2017:,Social,Media,App,Icons

A decade ago, people used text messaging to connect with friends and family. Today, messaging apps have become essential tools not only for personal communication but also for running businesses.

Consumers live on their mobile devices and spend more time increasingly on apps such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, which account for more than 90% of the market.

Companies naturally want to become a part of that conversation and use messaging as a new way to enhance customer experiences and increase sales.

The rise of instant messaging

With hundreds of billions of messages delivered daily through messaging apps, the journey messaging has taken throughout these 3 decades is unmatched.

From the first online chat service back in the 80’s to the renaissance instant messaging underwent in 2010 with WhatsApp, WeChat, and Snapchat, the very concept of digital communication has changed entirely.

What once was a simple exchange of information has become a lifestyle with multimedia content, video conferencing, asynchronous voice messages, games, animated GIFs, and sharing one’s current location. Plus, some apps help consumers complete purchases, provide customer support, and manage the entire end-to-end customer experience via messaging.

How businesses can benefit from this evolution 

In a market where global eCommerce sales are expected to hit $5.5 trillion this year and 76% of adults shopping online, companies can’t afford to offer their customers anything less than impeccable communication experiences.

Moving forward, consumers are not going to want to give up the convenience of messaging with brands as long as the communication is authentic, highly curated, and specific to them.

Chat apps offer this unique opportunity to create more intimate relationships and to establish this increased level of convenience customers are looking for with:

Integration at every step of the journey

Customers want the ability to message businesses throughout their whole journey. A great example of this is WhatsApp which enables relevant communications before (click-to-chat, conversation starter buttons), during (item notifications, receipts, order tracking), and after purchase (abandoned shopping carts, long wait times, transaction failures).

Unparalleled customer service

Giving customers the ability to contact you using their favorite messaging app creates an extraordinary level of convenience; plus, you reduce support conflict and increase agent productivity.

Increased engagement in larger audiences

Messaging apps allow for promotional campaigns that reach millions of customers and drive net new revenue. Plus, they enable brands to identify and target the most profitable customer segments with exclusive offers when they’re more likely to convert.

The more advanced messaging technology gets, the savvier consumers will get. And while businesses continue to search for the next best thing to innovate with how they speak to customers, consumers will always expect personalized, safe, and reliable communication.

The moment for brands to take advantage of the endless capabilities of messaging apps to continue building and growing their relationships with their current and future customers is now.

MessageBird’s omnichannel communications platform manages more than 4.5T+ annual interactions across 17+ channels worldwide, helping companies talk to their customers over any channel, for any use case, anywhere in the world.

Written by

Vinay Bhartia, Country Director, Messagebird India

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members