While messaging is commonly associated with casual conversations, it has rapidly emerged as a vital channel of marketing and commerce.
Let’s look at numbers.
In the 2020s, online shopping has experienced significant changes, primarily due to the increasing number of users shopping online and the growing preference for mobile devices. This digital acceleration is here to stay, according to Datareportal:
Parallel to that, a staggering 94.8% of adult Internet users access messaging apps and chats on a monthly basis in 2023.
The growing focus on mobile commerce and the popularity of messaging apps greatly impact online shopping. Consumers now expect it to be seamless, personalized, and convenient. And it is the messaging apps that can meet and surpass expectations, enabling quick and efficient communication between brands and shoppers.
Let's explore the e-commerce capabilities of messaging apps, using Rakuten Viber as an example. Rakuten Viber for Business suite of solutions allows brands to reach their audience at each stage of the marketing funnel while building a seamless and satisfying experience for customers from beginning to end.
The awareness stage is crucial, as it significantly influences a buyer's initial opinion about a brand, and altering that opinion later can be challenging. The main aim is to leave a positive impact and ignite interest in the products or services offered. At this stage, Rakuten Viber Ads, Lenses, and Stickers can help a brand stand out.
Brands can use messaging apps to answer questions and offer personalized recommendations: help with clothing fit, explain measurements, give suggestions based on a picture they send, and influence their choices.
Today, it’s easier to select a product in an online marketplace because it usually offers a far broader choice than brick-and-mortar stores. Brands need to tap into this trend as it can only be expected to grow.
At this point, promotional and conversational Rakuten Viber Business Messages are very useful. You also will benefit from Chatbots offering support around the clock, while Rakuten Viber Ads will help you stay top-of-mind and Business Account will allow customers to easily find your brand and ask a question.
Once a product has been chosen, a seamless ordering and delivery process is a must. This can be achieved through real-time order tracking, instant updates on shipping status, and easy access to customer support.
Rakuten Viber Chatbots and conversational Rakuten Viber Business Messages are useful at this stage again, as well as transactional Business Messages that can inform customers about delivery times, warranties, and so much more.
At this stage, a messaging app, with your brand present on it, is better than a salesman in a store as it’s always with your customers, at their fingertips. In the future, it is likely that people will leverage such personal assistants more and more when buying things.
A customer support team is typically engaged for after-sales assistance. If their company is present on Rakuten Viber, they use conversational Rakuten Viber Business Messages to address complex or unique problems and Rakuten Viber Chatbots for more common and repetitive inquiries. Brands can also use this opportunity to cross-sell similar products that their customers might be interested in.
The future of commerce is here, with popular channels evolving at a faster pace. Expect conversational AI and augmented reality to become even more important in messaging apps, reaching a wider audience and becoming essential for commerce. By establishing a presence on these popular apps, brands can connect with a large and expanding demographic. Countless companies have already done it with great results.