New research from global cloud communications platform Infobip reveals that chat apps such as WhatsApp are becoming crucial channels for customer communications, demonstrating the growing importance of conversational experiences. Infobip’s data shows an 80% and 62% increase in WhatsApp and rich communication services (RCS) interactions respectively in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
Customers now have access to more channels and devices than ever before. Whether for marketing, support, or sales, they increasingly want conversational experiences with a business or brand on their preferred channel. But organizations may struggle to keep up with such preferences and provide the experience customers have come to expect without the right omnichannel communications in place.
To help businesses understand changing habits, Infobip analyzed more than 153 billion communications interactions on its platform from the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
The analysis reveals several trends in customer communications. First, customer communications today are more digital than ever, with a 68% increase in interactions across all digital channels. Second, alongside the growth in chat app interactions, some 99% of customer support and chatbot interactions are now on WhatsApp.
However, while newer channels are gaining momentum, the data shows the continued growth of more traditional channels, such as SMS and email. Interactions on these channels increased by 75% and 91% respectively with Infobip seeing emerging uses around timely alerts and security solutions such as two-factor authentication.
Infobip also finds that many sectors also reflect the same trends. For instance:
134% more WhatsApp interactions in banking and finance
104% more WhatsApp interactions and 155% more email interactions in retail and eCommerce
1063% more RCS interactions in telecoms
428% more Messenger interactions in transport and logistics
Infobip’s data shows the growth in chat apps has given rise to newer use cases such as conversational commerce, where messaging and eCommerce meet to enable better customer experiences and superior results for businesses.
Ivan Ostojić, Chief Business Officer at Infobip, said: “Our data reveals how conversational customer experiences are quickly becoming the new normal. Customers don’t want a one-way interaction with a brand. They want a conversation – whether for support, sales, or marketing. But, as our data shows, to meet customer needs, businesses and brands must first embed global real-time omnichannel communications. When omnichannel communications are in place, businesses can create meaningful relationships with their customers on their preferred channel at any point in their journey, helping boost loyalty and ultimately sales.”