In order to understand the increasing number of users that are joining messaging apps, Facebook IQ commissioned Nielsen a study. The aim of this research was to examine the reasons why people are using these platforms, and how they connect through them with their relatives, their friends, and also customer service departments.
The study included 12,500 people over 18 years old who had used a mobile messaging app in the past 30 days, from five continents.
This is what they found.
Related article: "More than a Message: Messaging Means Business."
What the numbers are saying
59% of users message more today than they did 2 years ago, and 56% of them expect their messaging to increase further over the next 2 years.
It's already one of the preferred current models of communication. In the study, people chose it as a favourite out of nine different communication systems, including postal mail, emails, phone calls, social media, SMS/text messages, VoIP, video chat, in-person conversations and messaging apps. People are increasingly choosing messaging apps over the rest, in order to speak with people in one-to-one conversations, with groups, and with businesses.
When messaging in group chat conversations, 65% say messaging has made group communication easier.
Another interesting fact is that generation doesn't seem to be a determining factor. People just prefer to message rather than calling or sending emails when chatting one-to-one or with a group:
- Millenials (18-34 years old): 65%.
- Gen Xers (34-54 years old): 65%.
- Boomers (Over 55 years old): 63%.
Sounds too good? The words used to describe how they feel about messaging leave no doubt: people like it. Messaging has made their communication "simpler" (69%), "more thoughtful" (59%) and "more ongoing" (65%).
These are the top 6 terms used to describe messaging across 14 markets:
- 45% Convenient.
- 41% Economical.
- 39% Efficient.
- 36% At my own pace.
- 35% Fun. (Millenials are 1.17x more likely than Boomers to describe messaging as "fun")
- 28% User-friendly.
Although the perception changes based on the person's location, the top three is the same in UK, France, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, and the US: Convenient, Economical, Efficient.
And there's more!
- 67% stay in touch when they are unable to call or email thanks to messaging.
- 65% say messaging enables them to share with as many people as possible, as quickly as possible
- For 60% it enables them to meet more easily with people.
60% say messaging has changed the way they connect with others.
- 63% say they have communicated with others more frequently since they started messaging.
- Nearly 1 in 2 say messaging has helped improve their relationships.
People also message differently depending on their needs.
- 59% Use it to stay in touch with friends and family.
- 54% Use it to extend their networks.
And people are more likely to message over five people a day in India, Brazil, UAE, Mexico and Indonesia.
These are the different top topics when messaging groups of friends for men and women, in order of priority.
- For men: Sports, personal updates, movies, current events and people they know.
- For women: Personal updates, people they know, social plans, movies and shopping
Business messaging works
So yes, it is clear that people are using messaging apps to stay in touch with the people they care about. Their friends, their relatives, coworkers... But do they also want to chat with businesses? Apparently, they do.
People are currently exchanging over 1 billion messages with businesses every month on Facebook Messenger.
"People are already blending conversation and commerce"
Among people who message businesses:
- 63% say they message more with businesses than they did 2 years ago.
- 67% expect to message more with businesses over the next 2 years.
- 53% say they are more likely to shop with a business they can contact via a chat app.
It's paving a whole new path to purchase. People who message businesses increasingly see messaging as the best way to connect.
It can be used effectively at all stages of the customer journey. When considering whether to make a purchase, 35% of users asked businesses questions via message, and 33% had asked about store hours, location or inventory. And going one step further, at the converting stage, about 33% confirmed appointments, placed orders and made purchases via message.
30% of customers also provided feedback about businesses, and 39% shared photos of products, so the connection goes beyond the purchase.
How to automate Facebook Messenger
You may wonder what is all the fuss about chatbots and whether your customers are going to connect with your company via Messenger after all.
Simply ask yourself: Are they reaching you via Messenger now?
Do they send you their questions about how to use your platform, about your refund policies, or about the products you have in stock?
If the answer is yes, and you have one or several customer support reps dedicated to answering to these customers, wouldn't it be better to save them time and effort by answering to the most frequent questions automatically?
Customer support is draining when you have to answer the same questions over and over again. Users keep contacting businesses even when the answer to their doubt is clearly answered in your FAQs or just a few clicks away from your homepage.
Chatbots can deal with those questions and leave the human support for the users with real problems. That way, your employees can focus on those clients who might be more likely to be having a bad experience and help them in a more efficient way. Check our artificially intelligent shop assistant, Ebba.ai if you want to automate your business' Messenger without coding.
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