Instant Messaging: a major customer experience trend

Messenger, Whatsapp, WeChat, Line… Now key players of the digital sector integrate messaging apps at the core of their strategy. Messaging apps are changing mobile customer engagement. 

Designed for smartphones, messaging apps seem to meet users’ expectations in terms of customer engagement: they are intuitive and extremely easy to use. Just like live chat, messaging apps are popular because they are instantaneous, conversational, they personalize customer experience and enable the ongoing and opened relation with brands required by customers… Here are 4 reasons why Instant Messaging is here to stay.   

1 billion: By 2018, Messaging Platforms will acquire 1 billion additional users

When he gave a presentation on the future of tech, Micheal Wolf was pretty clear: in three years’ time, 1,1 billion of messaging app users will add up to the existing 2,2 billion current users. It will represent a total of 3,6 billion worldwide users… almost one out of every two people on earth! And what about Social Media? They should add up to 400 million additional users.

1,1 billion new users by 2018


40% : Mobile Commerce now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales in the UK

Mobile usage is booming: we bring our smartphones everywhere with us and spend more and more time browsing on them each day. We also buy via our mobile devices! Indeed, according to IMRG and Capgemini’s Quarterly Benchmark, mobile now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales in the UK. And it has a huge potential since it continues to grow. But there are still some improving to do before offering a truly perfect experience on mobile! According to a 2015 research done by Barclays, less than 3% of retailers believe their business is at the cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready.

How can we explain it? Mainly because mobile sites or native apps do not live up to expectations of customer engagement yet. For example, according to Google, 64% of French websites are not mobile-friendly. It’s one of the major challenges that brands must meet. And Instant Messaging and conversational experience can help brands overcome this challenge.

Here are also some interesting facts given by Millward Brown to help us understand how customers use mobile devices: it seems like users prefer mobile sites during their selection phases, research and purchase, while they prefer apps for service. It has to be noted that, according to Forrester, the majority of shopping traffic goes through mobile web and not native apps.

Difference between mobile apps and internet mobile for purchase

Difference between mobile apps and internet mobile for purchase


$19 milliards : The price Facebook paid to acquire Whatsapp

The price of this investment is delusional! Made by Facebook, a visionary company, this buyout seems to be an evident sign of the socio-economic potential of messaging apps! Even if some will argue that only Millennials use messaging apps, let’s keep in mind that Whatsapp is different from others: they have a wide audience. All age groups use it.   


Mobile users spent 10% of their time on Social Messaging Apps

A recent report made by Forrester shows that 65% of adults who possess a smartphone do not download applications. Yet, 86% of time spent on mobile is now spent on applications. With this in mind, it seems quite easy to imagine the future… Messaging apps could centralize all activities on mobile web and therefore, access to brands in the near future.

Time spent on Messaging apps

Time spent on Messaging apps

“At every time throughout the day, there is a touchpoint between WeChat and your normal life.” said Stephen Wang, a senior PM at WeChat. For the Chinese application, business growth is not defined by measuring the app’s number of users or chat messages, but by how deeply WeChat’s product is engaged in every aspect of a user’s lifestyle.

Read more: “A typical Chinese user’s day with WeChat and the multiple touchpoints in their daily lives”

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Ludivine Kasteleyn

French and Belgian born in France and interested in everything related to Marketing, Foreign Languages and the Web.

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