Messaging use is on the rise, with the top four messaging apps now serving more active users than the big four social networks. And as such, it makes sense for brands to also be considering how they can tap into those trends, and utilize messaging within their broader digital marketing efforts.
To help with this, and to provide more context on the messaging shift, Facebook recently commissioned Boston Consulting Group to conduct focus groups, in-depth interviews and an online survey of 8,864 people across nine markets in regards to their messaging use. Their findings highlight some of the key benefits, and expectations, of consumer-business messaging - here's a look at the highlights of the data.
First off, Facebook sought to discover what, specifically, is driving the business messaging trend for consumers, and what they're most often seeking from such interactions.
As you can see here, product and pricing information is the leading driver, but the fact that people are able to get quicker responses via message is also key. That could point to the additional opportunity of bots, through which brands can automate responses to common queries, but the key point is interaction and attentiveness, being available to directly answer potential customers' questions.
The research also highlights that people are generally looking to connect with brands on the messaging platforms they already use.
"When asked where they engage in conversational commerce, half of buyers say they do so primarily through social media and messaging platforms. And 90% of those actions take place on Facebook platforms (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram)."
That's an important consideration when building out your messaging strategy - while offering your own, on-site solution can also be effective, consumers are looking to engage via the apps and tools they already know and use.
The research also suggests that being active and responsive can drive significant benefits in regards to consumer trust, with nearly 1 in 3 messaging consumers indicating that they chat with businesses in order to determine if they’re trustworthy and credible.
And that can have flow-on benefits to actual spending habits:
"Conversational commerce is not just growing the universe of online shoppers, it's associated with higher spending too. Research reveals that the ongoing, trusting and personal connections people develop with brands and sellers via conversations often lead to new interactions, more effective personalized recommendations and higher spending."
So being available via messaging is not only good for immediate interaction, but it also strengthens customer bonds, by building more intimate, unique connection, when done right.
And Facebook says that most messaging consumers (or 'c-commerce' shoppers) are planning to increase their spending:
While messaging commerce is also on the rise in all markets, expanding opportunities to reach new regions:
"Research reveals that platforms such as Messenger and WhatsApp are introducing online shopping to even more consumers: 40% of c-commerce buyers surveyed globally say that chat was how they first started shopping online."
There are some interesting insights here, some valuable notes to integrate into your digital strategy. If you haven't considered the potential of messaging within your approach, the stats here could make you re-think it, potentially as an addition in your 2020 planning.
Facebook has also provided an overview listing of how you can implement a messaging strategy for your business:
Some key considerations to take into account.
You can read Facebook's full "Why Conversation is the Future of Commerce" report here.