Have you heard the news? Business chat isn’t just for customer service anymore. In fact, chat is poised to be the next big thing for U.S commerce, with 82 percent of millennials wanting to make purchases via chat apps like the ones they use to talk to friends and family. Indeed, 88 percent of millennials already use chat to communicate with businesses, underscoring chat as a channel of choice, reveals new research from mobile comms and chat commerce firm Clickatell.
The firm’s latest Chat Commerce Trends Report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. millennials conducted by Dimensional Research, underscores that younger consumers are ready to move to chat not only for customer service but to also complete business transactions.
The new report reveals that 93 percent of millennials have identified significant benefits to doing business on chat:
- 48 percent save time and easily get a quick response
- 43 percent respond to a chat when it is convenient for them
- 41 percent keep all conversations in the same place
- 38 percent use an app that they are already using on a regular basis
- 36 percent want conversations in one place so any agent can pick up with all history immediately
- 34 percent don’t need to install other apps
- 25 percent want businesses to easily verify their identity or personal information
- 24 percent want businesses to send offers specific to them or their account
- 19 percent don’t want to speak to a live person
Meeting consumers where they are: On chat
A full 71 percent of millennials use chat apps daily, led by Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram Chat, the research shows. This is occurring at a time when more than 6.1 billion monthly active chat users outnumber the over 4.6 billion Internet users, according to Statista 2021.
“Younger consumers have moved to chat and are ready to do business on chat,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO and co-founder of Clickatell, in a news release. “This research shows they value the convenience and speed of doing business via their favorite chat apps. Businesses will gain a competitive edge by meeting this increasingly influential group of consumers where they are, which is on chat.”
While millennials are ready, businesses have work to do, the research reveals. Only 10 percent of millennials say brands “always” offer the digital communication channel of their choice—including chat app, social media and phone.
Other results of the research show that:
- 89 percent of millennials want to do business on chat
- 54 percent of millennials have received a message through a chat app about an order pickup, delivery or package arrival
- 38 percent have received a link via chat to make a payment
- 41 percent have used a link via chat to book or confirm an order, appointment or a reservation
The survey results mirror sentiments from a recent report by research firm Gartner. Advanced messaging APIs constituting of apps, such as WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, RCS, RBM, ABC, Signal, Telegram, and Viber, are growing at a significantly faster pace (approximately 90 percent CAGR), and are projected to reach approximately $800 million by 2024.
One key reason for this trend is that end users are increasingly turning to more advanced messaging channels for their daily conversations. Therefore, advanced messaging is a key way for enterprises to reach customers.
“The macro drivers turning chat commerce into the next big thing are aligning. Consumers are broadly using chat apps with friends and family, they want to do the same with businesses, and leading brands are experimenting,” de Villiers said. “We’ll see increasingly rapid uptake in the months and years ahead. In the not-so-distant future, chat apps and commerce will be indelibly linked.”
Chat apps work across industries, the research shows. The top things consumers want to do most via chat app include making hotel or airline reservations, asking questions of banks and retailers, and ordering from restaurants.