The internet has completely revolutionized the way businesses and consumers operate. Consumers are now used to obtaining information in real-time and are always connected to others somehow. Messaging apps have transcended beyond chatting among friends and family and are now used in a variety of ways for eCommerce.
Apps used for communication can revamp a business’s marketing plan and strategy. The popularity and wide use of messaging apps can help grow a business. According to Flurry Analytics, between 2015 and 2016 the time people spent on messaging and social apps grew by 394%. It would be a large missed opportunity for a business not to capitalize off of messaging apps.
Important eCommerce Components of Messaging Apps
24/7 Customer Support
An increasing number of businesses are utilizing artificial-intelligence bots for their customer support communications. According to digital market moguls, it is projected that more than 85% of customer support interactions will involve communicating solely with an AI bot by 2020. Why are they so popular?
AI bots allow consumers to have access to customer support anytime during the day and week. They also allow more people to receive assistance at once because there is no wait time to speak with a representative. AI bots can be integrated to provide the business and customer with a variety of data and information:
- Recommend offers and discounts
- Properly recognize a customer issue
- Suggest solutions and products for an issue
- Identify and resolve future issues
- Examine the customer behavior pattern
- Link to relevant reports, FAQ’s, and blog posts
- And much more
AI bots are constantly gathering and processing new information in order to better assist customers. This helps reduce customer complaints and abandonment. All businesses want customers to have a good experience at every stage of the buying process. AI bots are convenient for customers and are likely to give a good impression of the business. This is largely due to the level of reliability that AI bots achieve. Besides capturing various customer data to improve itself, AI bots provide other benefits such as:
- No biases towards customers or products
- Precise and clear communication with no emotion
- Real-time assistance
Mobile messaging apps currently (2018) have over two billion users worldwide according to Statista. Many users enjoy connecting with their favorite brands or businesses through the app and it’s because of special promotions. Messaging apps allow companies to offer time-sensitive promotions such as coupons, discount codes, and special offers.
Regular email promotions can sometimes show up in a customer’s mailbox after the promotion it is detailing has ended, or the email ends up in the junk folder. Sending a promotional message via a messaging app allows for customers to quickly receive and view the offer. This is ideal for short-term promotions that may only last 24 or more hours.
Obtaining Client Feedback
It is easier to send surveys to clients through messaging apps. Surveys or questions can be answered in the chat itself, or a link will open up a webpage where the survey is conducted. It is a quicker way of finding out what the customer wants, needs, and would like from a new product or promotion.
Better Brand Image
Messaging apps can increase customer loyalty, strengthening your brand’s image. The convenience of AI bots and messaging apps help create a personalized experience for each customer and integrates itself further with each interaction with its cognitive knowledge. The elimination of negative emotions, like annoyance or aggression, as well as any biases that come with human representatives, the AI bot helps to build the brand’s reputation through each positive and helpful interaction.
Online shopping makes it easy to add something to the cart and pay for it whenever. This also makes it easy to forget about items that have been added to the cart. eCommerce sites can send instant notifications to a customer through a messaging app to remind them of the item and ask if they want to move forward with the purchase.
Status updates on where a package is can be received as well. For a customer, it is convenient to have all the updates in one place. Scrolling up through a message thread is easier than sifting through different emails.
Customer messaging apps make it easier to engage with your target audience. They are people who have either liked or followed your business’s social media pages or downloaded your specific messaging app. Messaging apps make it easy to send pictures, videos, audio, polls, and links to your customers. Content, specifically quality content, is likely to draw your customers in and keep them interested. This helps drive more sales and create loyal customers.
It is a commonality for customers to publicly voice their unhappiness about a product or service online. A messaging app allows them to directly communicate with your company easily and in a private forum. They are able to share private information within the app and work on resolving the issue with instant responses. This also helps with your brand image by providing a private channel between you and the customer to resolve problems hassle-free.
Segmented Target Groups
A major benefit of messaging apps is the ability to advertise to certain demographics more easily. You can share content with any number amount of people based on who you want to view it. This enhances promotional content as well as driving sales based on customer behavior patterns.
The main focus of messaging apps when it involves ecommerce is to deepen the relationship between your business and your customers. Customers are being given a better sense of autonomy through AI bots because of its real-time response. Customers feel they are able to govern the conversation unlike with a human-interaction.
Businesses have a better idea of how their customers behave online through the use of messaging apps. This allows for more precise content and information to be shared to the customer, increasing its value. Starting a one-on-one conversation with customers is the best way to grow your business in a market that is constantly growing itself.