APPLE BUSINESS CHAT ADDS MORE COMPANIES TO PLATFORM: Five more companies have signed up to utilize Apple Business Chat, Apple’s offering that allows businesses and brands to engage with consumers over Messages, according to TechCrunch. The addition of the US companies — Dish, Four Seasons, Aramark, Harry & David, and American Express — signals the growing importance that messaging apps have in business-to-consumer (B2C) communications, as they provide a more convenient experience than legacy channels. For example, American Express’ partnership with Business Chat will allow card members to view account information such as balance and payment due dates in Messages, and Four Seasons’ partnership will enable guests to use Messages to connect with the hotel concierge for any customer needs.
Businesses are increasingly turning to messaging apps to broaden consumer reach and increase engagement opportunities:
- Messaging platforms have massive user bases.Just the top three chat apps globally, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Messenger, have a combined 3.7 billion monthly active users (MAU). For comparison, the top three email clients have a combined 1.8 billion MAU globally.
- Customers prefer to engage with businesses over social messaging platforms: For example, 54% of consumers prefer social messaging channels for customer service over legacy channels like phone and email. Messaging is among the most used features of smartphones, meaning consumers are already accustomed to, and actively using, these services.