You may have seen the “Messaging Apps have surpassed Social Networks” stat before. If you haven’t, it’s from BI Intelligence. It shows clearly the point where the top 4 messaging apps surpassed the top 4 social networks in monthly active users.
What does it mean?
It means there’s an increasing shift from apps to messaging apps like chatbots. A gap which will only get larger in 2017. And it also means opportunity.
A recent report by 7, a customer engagement software company, millennial’s commitment to new technology plays a massive role in the rise of chatbots (Let’s not forget, the millenial generation is now even bigger than the baby boomer).
As shown above, 7 reports in “A Retailers Guide to Chat” that 28.9 percent of consumers prefer to interact with retailers through online chat and messaging apps during the purchasing process. Even more impressive (and a further glimpse into the the future) is that chat rated more popular than telephone (28.7%) and email (27%) when it comes to engagement and interaction with a company.
It’s not surprising that over one third of millenials choose chat over phone and email. That’s the way millenials were brought up to communicate.
7 also surveyed consumers on how open they were engaging with companies through apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Twenty six percent of all respondents replied they were open to it. Almost forty percent of millenials said they were open to Messenger and WhatsApp and that the reasons were because of convenience and ease of use.
Retailers have a great opportunity to engage with consumers on chat for customer service. But the opportunity lies beyond customer service. Having a customer interact with you on chat provides you with a way for future communication such as sales, discounts, and identifying what a customer wants to further enhance your connection. Couple this with, for example, Facebook’s recent Ad network, companies have more ways to interact with customers, thereby increasing a customer’s total yearly spend.