3 Reasons Why Retailers Should Use Messaging Apps for Black Friday
Historically, Black Friday has always been one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and predictions for this year’s expected sales, coming in at $12.3 billion, are no different. While competitive discounts and deals will always be key drivers for success on Black Friday, another factor is taking a seat at the table this year: convenience. According to a recent survey from Deloitte, 64 percent of consumers cited convenience as a differentiating factor when choosing where to shop. With 55 percent of consumers reporting they have better experiences shopping online vs. in-store, it's more important than ever for retailers to leverage digital tools like messaging apps this Black Friday and holiday season. Here are three reasons why.
Boost the Customer Experience
We've all been in situations while shopping when the customer service has left us feeling frustrated and fed up. Often this leads us to take our business elsewhere. While it's inevitable the occasional customer will feel this way, having a presence on messaging apps allows retailers to reduce these chances by ensuring no question, thought or concern from a customer goes unaddressed because, let’s face it, the in-store shopping experience on Black Friday is notoriously chaotic and things can get lost in translation. And between the hustle and bustle of this busy day, it's more important than ever for retailers to deliver an experience that reminds customers they're valued. One-to-one conversations via messaging apps are the perfect way to express that appreciation.
The Preferred Channel Now and in the Future
If retailers are still not sold on the idea of messaging applications, they need not look further than the data. While we know from the statistics above that more consumers have better experiences shopping online vs. in-store, research shows that by 2021 more than half of all retail e-commerce is expected to be transacted on mobile devices. This research provides retailers with the opportunity to get ahead of the trend now and grow their businesses on mobile platforms, like messaging apps, that are predicted to drive more than half of their e-commerce revenue.
Consumers are receptive to brands that are present on messaging apps for multiple reasons, but perhaps the most important of all in today’s complex digital security landscape is the added privacy. Whether falling under the category of merchant or consumer this Black Friday and holiday season, everyone can relate to the unsettling feeling of receiving targeted ads based on browsing history. And between the frequent reports of consumer data being mishandled and over half of consumers admitting they would stop using a messaging or social app if they knew their message could be read or analyzed by advertisers, privacy must be a top priority for retailers. Luckily, some messaging applications are able to provide an added level of privacy by only advertising to consumers who have opted in to receive ads as well as security through end-to-end encryption, easing the fears of consumers by ensuring their data won't get into the hands of anyone else.
On a day when competitors are also offering some of the best deals of the year, the enticing options for consumers to spend their money are endless. It's critical for retailers to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive edge by leveraging messaging applications to provide an optimized customer experience.
Debbi Dougherty is head of B-to-B marketing at Viber, one of the world’s largest messaging apps with 1 billion-plus users.