Presented by Sendbird
Today’s customers want engagement from familiar companies to be personalized, branded and secure across the entire customer journey. In this VB Spotlight, learn why it’s crucial to include a web and app communication strategy to your omnichannel game plan.
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Consumers today are using an average of six touchpoints in every shopping experience, making omnichannel strategies crucial for reaching customers and giving them the experience they want. In fact, marketers who use three or more channels earn a 494% higher order rate than those who focus on a single channel. But it has its limitations, says Emmanuel Delorme, head of product marketing at Sendbird.
“The main limitation is that it’s a fragmented experience,” he explains. “You’re automating the campaign in a variety channels, which can lead not only to overcommunication but throw off the timing, and that can throw a campaign off-target.”
Another issue is that channels like email and text are the frequent target of scams, taking advantage of the lack of branding, and hiding fraudulent website addresses in images and bitly URLs. That lack of branding also means many of these messages are lost in a sea of emails, easily overlooked and impatiently deleted. But this is solvable once marketers realize the potential of a channel they might have been overlooking — the app. It’s a central hub for every communication customers want and need. You’re interacting with users who are already actively using your app, delivering important or contextual information, updates and guidance and engaging users in real time.
“Bringing all the communication that’s possible across the customer journey into the app enables the kind of experience that consumers are looking for, in a way that other channels can’t provide,” says Delorme. “It’s a modern, very controlled and very effective experience that is driving significant results.”
The benefits of in-app messaging
There are a number of critical benefits that app messaging brings — and top among them is personalization. The ideal message can be triggered at exactly the right time, because of the enhanced context when a customer is logged in. You know who they are, from their behavior to their preferences and purchases, as well as where they are, in a fully native, branded experience. And as a customer uses your app, you continue to accrue the vital first-party data that’s key to refining and optimizing your marketing strategy.
Plus, unlike third-party messaging channels, you retain complete control over your branding and maintain brand integrity. Your messages always look exactly the way they’re supposed to, which gives the consumer more confidence, since they can be sure they’re in a secure environment, owned by you.
In-app messaging is also far easier to deliver than other communication channels. That allows you to pivot when necessary and stay nimble, reacting to the market, customer and business needs as they change. It also takes less time and fewer resources to build in-app messaging.
And when you use your app as a central hub for all the communication a user is interested in, customers are more likely to use it, and more likely to spend more time inside an integrated experience where they’re not required to re-authenticate themselves every time they want to take any kind of action.
It’s also a matter of vastly improved scale, ease of deployment and up-time, Delarme adds.
“With the cloud, there is effectively no limitation on scale, so people can go global, and they can also scale at huge levels,” he says. “We have customers that have tens of millions, hundreds of millions of customers, and they’ve done migrations in a matter of weekends, to offer users communication as seamless and effortless as a platform like WhatsApp.”
New strategies and skyrocketing engagement
But you can do more than just send out transactional messages — your app can become a true source of real engagement for customers, Delorme says, pointing to Traveloka, a leading travel platform in six markets across Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Traveloka has now boasted partnerships with more than 200 airlines and a network of approximately 1.8 million hotels, villas and apartments.
“They were using email, SMS and social channels like Twitter and Facebook to communicate, but very quickly saw that their app became the preferred channel,” he says. “And that interest skyrocketed when they began to do live events and include chat, for example. As their engagement grows, they’ve seen 5X at livestreamed flash sale events, for example.”
Another example is PicPay, which added a conversational aspect to its transactions, because of how important communication is when conducting a business exchange. Users are connected when they make a payment, not only ensuring the experience is more seamless for both parties, but also allowing for things like follow-up messages for potential cross-selling opportunities. Having this communication channel also increases customer trust in the platform and engagement. The company has found that socially active users create double the transactions, are 2.4 times more likely to continue accessing services on the platform, and their average spend is 3X.
“Enabling two-way conversations, including chat, voice and video calls is very important because at the end of the day, a communications strategy is about building relationships with people,” Delorme says. “You do that by creating that safe environment in a central place where people can get the information they need and also engage where and when they want.”
That’s both in a marketplace where it helps build trust and increased sales, or enabling a seamless customer service interaction with a live support person — or even a sophisticated gen AI-powered bot that ensures the customer ends the interaction satisfied and happy.
“Happy customers lead to good business, long-lasting relationships and connection with the brand,” he says. “And we want to help make apps a central component of the overall relationship-building strategy.”
Watch free on-demand now!
- The challenges of today’s omni-channel communication strategy
- Why your app is an underutilized resource in your communications strategy and how it can redefine the way you engage with your customers
- The myriad benefits with in-app communication, including increased engagement, enhanced customer loyalty, improved conversions and customer lifetime value (LTV)
- Patricia Lazatin, Business Owner, Grab (formerly)
- Emmanuel Delorme, Head of Product Marketing, Sendbird
- Chad Oda, Moderator, VentureBeat