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Six Reasons Why Chat Marketing Continues to Gain Momentum in 2019

Chat marketing can help you to transition a customer from enquiry to purchase in a single (automated) conversation.  In this article we discuss some of the key reasons why the channel continues to gain momentum.

Imagine for a moment the following real-world scenario of an online shopper with an urgent problem to solve.

Brazilian belly dancer Lígia needed to find a dress for an upcoming performance.

But she also had a problem. Not only did the dress need to look the part, but she also needed to have it by the very next day.

She began her search on Facebook and eventually came across a local dressmaker that she liked.

So, she sent a message:

“How fast can you make a custom outfit for me?”

The reply came back instantly and she outlined all of her requirements in a matter of minutes via chat.

It was that chat that secured the sale for the dressmaker. It allowed them to create a concierge-esque experience that offered instant gratification. That’s the key for providing services to customers in today’s market.

They don’t want to go on a journey with you.

They want to get what they need as fast as possible.

Why is Chat Marketing so Effective?

It’s not just the instantaneous nature of the technology that makes chat marketing so effective.

The strategy also allows you to reach customers in the places that they spend the majority of their time. According to Gartner, that’s the reason why 20% of brands will give up on their mobile apps in 2019. Apps require constant support and updates. They also require the customer to open the app before the brand can interact with them. 

Chat marketing gets around those barriers to entry and allows you to speak to consumers on platforms that they use every day.

There’s also the convenience factor to consider. According to Ipsos’ Global Trends 2017 report, 60% of customers will pay more for a convenient experience.

There’s nothing more convenient than having an instant chat to get to the root of an issue.

We’re also seeing a shift away from traditional methods of communication. According to Facebook, 55% of people feel more comfortable messaging a business than emailing it. That number rises to more than 58% when comparing chat messaging to telephone calls.

The message is simple.

Chat marketing isn’t just here to stay. It’s gaining momentum and is on its way to becoming the primary way to communicate with customers. Here are the six reasons why.

Reason #1 – The Continuing Trend Towards Online Shopping

We Are Social’s Digital 2019 report says that consumers spent US$1.78 trillion online in 2018. And according to Facebook, more than half of connected consumers will use the web to make purchases in 2020.

There’s a clear trend towards buying online. Now, combine that with the desire for instant gratification and convenience mentioned earlier. It’s clear that social shopping is on the rise, which makes chat marketing a key strategy.

Reason #2 – Improved Customer Service

Coming back to Lígia’s example, we can see that she had a clear need for fast and effective responses.

Now, think back to the last time you called a business on the phone. The odds are pretty high that you ended up on hold listening to muzak. You might spend what feels like an eternity waiting just to ask a question that takes a minute or two to answer.

According to a Zendesk report, 89% of people rate the speed of response as a key factor in customer service. Providing that speed via chat messaging reduces customer friction. This creates a more satisfactory experience.

Reason #3 – Monitoring Data and Tracking Purchases

Utilising a chatbot in chat messaging allows a business to collect targeted data about their customers.

The bot can gather a range of insights, including:

  • Location
  • Browser
  • Device
  • Product preferences
  • lifestyle choices

These insights tell you where the customer comes from and how they access your services.

More importantly, chatbots interact directly with the consumer. This means you’re collecting customer data from the directly. The data from these interactions may highlight common queries and purchasing trends. You can then use this data to create targeted marketing campaigns, as well as providing immediate suggestions that meet the specific needs of your customer.

Reason #4 – It’s Ideal for Remarketing Campaigns

Over 75% of online shoppers will abandon their shopping carts before making a purchase.

All these people were interested enough in your product to reach checkout, and form an excellent group to target through remarketing. Beyond that, you have the opportunity to make upsells and cross-sells to existing customers.

Facebook allows you to create custom audiences using both standard & custom attributes. You can use these attributes to segment your audience. This opens the door for targeted remarketing via chat.  

Even more powerfully, you can reach out to people who came through you chat funnels inside Messenger to remind them that their cart is still waiting for them.  While email cart abandonment campaigns convert at around 15-20%, our experience shows Messenger cart reminders convert at 35-50%.  

Reason #5 – It’s Great for Lead Nurturing

We saw this in action with Lígia.

In her case, the instant responses she received via chat quickly pushed her through the dressmaker’s sales funnel. She went from becoming aware of the seller to making a purchase in a matter of minutes.

Compare that to the traditional sales funnel, which can take days, or even weeks, to achieve the same result.

Chat marketing allows you to nurture leads from the moment they show an interest in your service. And in some cases, you can turn those leads into customers in the space of a single conversation.

The true power of Chat sales funnels is they allow the consumer to control the chat. Traditional sales funnels force the customer to follow a linear progression, and compensate for that with retargeting ads.  Chat funnels allow the consumer to choose the fast route to checkout or more exploratory conversations, depending on how ready they are to make a purchase.  

Reason #6 – Growing Use of AI

Chatbots use artificial intelligence to learn about customers. And in many cases, this can lead to chatbots making offers based on the data that they gather.

Take Amazon as a huge example. The company says that 35% of its total revenue comes from cross-sells and upsells. It makes these sales thanks to in-built AI that makes recommendations to customers as they shop.

Chatbots offer similar capabilities on a smaller scale, though a conversation. 

Gartner predicts that we won’t need humans for 85% of customer interactions by the end of 2020. Chat marketing allows you to leverage AI, thus saving money on human resources.

The Momentum of Chat Marketing

Combined, these six reasons show us why chat marketing continues to gain momentum. There are increases in the use of AI in business to consider. Plus, more people than ever use the web to shop.

But most importantly, people want instant gratification from their online experiences. That’s what chat marketing provides – instant answers to customer questions that can result in sales.

It’s time for you to leverage chat marketing for your ecommerce business.

That’s where Beyond Points comes in. Schedule your strategy session with us today to find out more.