Latest 15 Oct 2020 | Messaging Channels | 3 min read

This Week: Messenger Arrives on Instagram and WhatsApp Takes Over a London High Street

Hello and welcome to The Conversation Round-Up where I sift through the latest news and trends in messaging, automation and customer experience to bring you the stories that matter.



Facebook begins to merge its messaging channels 

At F8 in March last year, Facebook announced plans to intertwine its 3 market-leading messaging channels: Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. We've been working closely with Facebook since the announcement and last month the first stage was revealed - Messenger merging with Instagram. There's an initial release in select markets, before a wider rollout. 

This is a game changing opportunity for brands; it brings together the two major Facebook customer destinations. Brands will now be able to take full advantage of their presence on Facebook and Instagram, seamlessly intertwining their customer engagement across both platforms.

Facebook’s focus on its private messaging channels for 1-to-1 interactions will create incredible CX by adapting to customers’ new habits and allowing interactions with brands where they spend most of their time.

Messenger to Insta video pic.001


Retailers turn to digital solutions to take on Amazon Prime Day

It ended yesterday, but Amazon's Prime Day was delayed this year. As a result, big-box brands like Walmart, Best Buy and Target have taken advantage of the delay and launched their own sales to challenge the e-commerce goliath. These brands also have an edge over Amazon in one particular department; physical stores across the US where customers can collect their purchases and not have to wait for delivery.

During the pandemic, curbside pickups have become vital in helping some retailers adapt to having no in-store customers. Their stores have become mini e-commerce fulfillment centers, keeping customers safe and helping avoid expensive shipping costs. Whats more, if these retailers are able to utilize messaging channels to automate notifications when an order is ready, or handle queries about pick up times, it's hugely cost-effective and efficient. 

This year consumers have turned to digital solutions for what used to be every day activities. A recent Sinch study found that 58% of people are still avoiding big crowds and 46% want to spend less time in stores. We're seeing a significant shift in attitudes and consumer habits. Brands need to recognize attitudes are changing and embrace these digital solutions to avoid lagging behind. 


First ever 'WhatsApp High Street' launched in London 

WhatsApp has partnered with 12 small businesses in North London to help connect with their customers. At Conversocial, we often think of messaging as a purely digital solution, but it is also working as a way of saving bricks and mortar operations. 

This is a groundbreaking use of messaging channels to move beyond just larger brands using them to scale their CX and customer service channels. Smaller businesses are connecting to local customers the same way they speak to friends and family. WhatsApp Business is often used as channel to communicate post-purchase, but this launch allows consumers to use the platform to find out opening times and social distancing measures, as well as a digital storefront to showcase products and services.

If this is successful, in a post Covid world we'll surely see messaging channels become an integral part of everyday retail, both online and in-stores. 


And that’s all from me for the next couple of weeks. As usual, I would love to carry on the conversation at @idohacohen. 

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