Rakuten Viber live from Athens: Announcing new digital tools for brands

Viber mariia-martyrosian
Mariia Martyrosian
Global PR & Marketing Innovations Director at Rakuten Viber
Rakuten Viber live from Athens: Announcing new digital tools for brands

Rakuten Viber offers 3 months of free conversational business messages, presents recently launched channels and AR lenses, shares insights on new advertising capabilities and bots' rise in customer engagement.

On April 5th, 2022 Rakuten Viber's senior management came to Athens, Greece for their first networking workshop in two years. The event covered the rising importance of messaging for businesses in times of change and discussed the newest mobile marketing examples and trends with industry professionals in attendance. The latest Rakuten Viber tools for businesses help marketers achieve their messenger marketing goals,  and strengthen customer loyalty as shown in proven case studies from Greece and the region. The speakers wrapped up with delineating the company's global goal of becoming a "super-app".

A new era for brand communication

Smartphone use is on the rise and, with it, the amount of hours users spend on mobile. Rakuten Viber is well-placed to make the most of this trend: with its impressive smartphone penetration levels (reaching  91% in Greece and up to 98% in some European countries). In Greece only, Rakuten Viber facilitates more than a billion calls, tens of billions of messages, and timeless connections between users and brands. Rakuten Viber is focused on putting this trend to good use for both the brands and the users, so it's constantly adding new solutions that facilitate user-brand interaction. 

Rakuten Viber's latest product—Channels is now available in Greece for the first time as the ultimate broadcast platform for content creators. Channels offer maximum engagement with advanced moderation options and the new comments feature which generates top interaction rates for content partners such as influencers, media companies, sports clubs and more... In Greece alone, there are 4.5 million members on Channels on Rakuten Viber today. Some of the biggest and the most lively examples are the Greek Government's channel set around regular updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in the country, together with many channels of national football teams such as Olympiacos, PAOK, Panatinaicos, etc and of course some food inspiration from the leading master's chef Akis Petretzikis.

Daniela Ivanova, Growth Director Europe

Rakuten Viber Lenses, a good example of AR creative engagement in the app, have been a success in Greece, helping brands stay relevant for a Gen Z audience and beyond. In less than 3 first months since their launch in October, more than two million Lenses have been created by Greek users.  On Rakuten Viber, thanks to the lenses integration, businesses can innovate and optimize the user experience, by creating unique experiences with their products or services. 

Native, non-intrusive Rakuten Viber Advertising solutions with different targeting capabilities continue to gain popularity with brands who want to increase their visibility and attract new users. Last year, the volume of ads impressions on Rakuten Viber grew by 16% in Greece, where telco, fintech, food and beverage, utility and retail became the top-performing verticals.

Top industries using Rakuten Viber Business Messages in Greece

Rakuten Viber business messaging solutions, which include Chatbots and Business Messages, continue strengthening 1-to-1 communications between brands and users. In 2021 in Greece the company recorded:

  • A 35% growth in the number of Rakuten Viber Chatbots, where customers get automated replies to requests in real-time 24/7. Chatbots let businesses offer around-the-clock support without the additional costs that come with human agents—and free up the human service agents to deal with more complex customer care needs.
  • An 82% growth in delivered Rakuten Viber Business Messages. The purpose of Rakuten Viber Business Messages is to bring brands closer to customers via a single channel that has everything one needs for a fruitful interaction: from driving purchases via personalized promotional messages to delivering important notifications via transactional messages and providing around-sales customer support via conversational messages.

Rakuten Viber expects that conversational business messages will continue growing – globally and in Greece. To help brands familiarize with this 2-way communication solution, the app has launched a three-month free trial for Rakuten Viber Conversational Business Messages: from April 4th to June 30th, 2022 across global markets any brand sending its first conversational message receives 90 days of free conversational messages from the date of the first message.

Momchil Elenkov, Fintech Business Development Director

Fintech is another and one of the key components to a seamless customer experience and a part of Rakuten Viber's strategy to become a super-app. Rakuten Viber users and partners can already benefit from different payment services available on the app. By enabling payments, Rakuten Viber establishes a framework for a single gateway to many options for users and brings fast, personalized, and secure messaging experiences that go beyond meeting customers where they are for our brands. Now brands can accept payments within Rakuten Viber Chatbots, and there are more fintech features coming soon in Greece.

"Today people no longer want to use apps for different needs separately. On average app users spend 77% of their time on their top 3 apps, and almost half of their time in one single app," says Konstantin Kostadinov, Senior Sales Director CEE & CIS at Rakuten Viber. "People nowadays seek one gateway to many options in one place, and Rakuten Viber continues developing and pushing the app even further to make it a convenient place that meets the maximum of users' needs: from fintech services, taxi and food orders, useful chatbots, and more."