With Christmas just around the corner, business are increasingly needing to engage consumers to drive sales and to lay the groundwork for what could prove to be a very tough year ahead. It is no surprise then that Twilio is predicting that messaging is going to be key to saving Christmas from the cost-of-living crisis.
When complaints like product faults and delivery issues are among the most common reasons for people getting in touch, retail businesses are potentially risking sales if they do not put customer engagement first, says the company’s latest research.
And it really counts. Customer experience is what makes people come back and the channels through which they do that have to all work perfectly and deliver what the customer wants most; convenience.
This means that merchants, brands and retailers all need to make sure that they are offering the right messaging and engagement channels to consumers. While email is still the preferred choice for many businesses when doing outbound marketing – and it still yields excellent results here – it isn’t how consumers want to interact with brands.
In fact, there is no one channel through which they wish to get in touch, rather it is a mixture of all the channels through which consumers contact each other. It may be SMS, it may be WhatsApp, it may be social. Heck, it may even be a phone call.
This is backed up by research from Infobip showing that there has been 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 as consumers and brands both find that these are the best ways to stay in touch.
The point is, not only will messaging save Christmas, but it will also drive better and more engaged business in 2023.
No wonder, then, that CPaaS is booming. The secret to what CPaaS offers is that it is a means to allow vast, near-instant comms between brands and consumers, offering a personal interaction that makes them feel special. This is a massive challenge to enterprises to deliver – and, with CPaaS offering an API that can be plugged in, allow brands to start to think about how they can actually deliver this in reality. This is the true power of CPaaS.
The thing is, how does the industry make money out of all this? Currently messaging specialists make up 44% of CPaaS offerings, with MNOs accounting for 18%. It is clear how messaging companies are going to benefit – but what is in it for the MNOs?
MNOs need to own the CPaaS platforms. They have the in with most large organisation and, while they may see things like WhatsApp as a threat to their core SMS and even RCS offerings, they are in fact complimentary. As seen, consumers mix and match the channels they use to engage, they aren’t wedded to any particular channel at any given time. MNOs need to almost take the same approach. They need to add these services to complement what they already do and that way they get a piece of the action, rather than being excluded.
Working with messaging providers they can readily make this happen. And it will be a win-win for all. Now that is something worth celebrating in the New Year.