A customer care representative responds to a client via a WhatsApp message. [Getty Images]

WhatsApp is the top digital channel for conversational marketing in absolute numbers, driven by new features that enable customers to start and complete a purchase in a single WhatsApp chat window, according to latest research.

The research by global cloud communications platform Infobip analysed more than 473 billion digital communications interactions on its platform in 2023 between businesses and consumers to identify the latest global business messaging trends. 

As consumers look for a deeper connection with the brands they buy from, the conversational messaging channels are seeing the fastest growth.

In 2023, Infobip recorded a 137 per cent increase in mobile app messages compared to 2022, a 73 per cent rise in social media messages, and a 63 per cent increase in chat app messages.

Conversational experiences are increasing throughout the customer journey, whether for marketing, commerce, or support.

Whether a person is dealing with a human agent, a chatbot or a combination of the two, conversational support provides an effective, efficient and positive experience.

WhatsApp remains the primary channel brands use for conversational support, where businesses send 90 percent of support messages over the chat app.

However, brands are beginning to diversify their channel mix, leveraging chat apps in specific regions. For instance, Infobip has recorded increases of 541 per cent, 146 per cent, and 284 per cent in Messenger, Viber, and Line, respectively.

Brands are now using conversational AI to provide personalised customer service and support.

The two-way exchange of information is the basis for conversational marketing, and brands are ramping up their efforts to meet customers on the channels they use with their family and friends.

Mobile messaging

Overall, the data shows a 29 per cent increase in mobile app messaging for marketing in 2023 compared to 2022.

WhatsApp remains the top digital channel for conversational marketing in absolute numbers, driven by new features that enable customers to start and complete a purchase in a single WhatsApp chat window.

Infobip is also seeing significant increases in other messaging apps such as Telegram, Line, Viber and Messenger. More specifically, WhatsApp messages increased by 421 per cent in Asia Pacific in 2023, while mobile app messaging increased by 146 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa and by 18 times in North America.

Ivan Ostojić, chief business officer at Infobip said that their data shows how conversational experiences are rapidly spreading across the globe as businesses roll out marketing, sales, and support use cases.

“Where 2022 revealed a spike in omnichannel adoption when brands recognised the importance of connecting with their customers on their preferred channel, 2023 shows how brands are perfecting the end-to-end customer journey,” he says.

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