In-store shoppers are bigger spenders than online customers. It could be down to the calming effects of retail therapy or the possibility of impulse buys that are more difficult to encourage online. First Insight’s research found that 71% of shoppers spend $50+ whilst shopping at a store vs 54% of online customers.
However, with Covid-19 currently affecting footfall and as digital experiences become more ingrained in our shopping habits, it’s up to brands to be more innovative. By building experiences that engage customers, brands can maximize revenues using channels their customers are already on, like private messaging platforms. It’s about ensuring there is convenience and opportunity in these digital experiences that also help to boost CLV (customer lifetime value).
Messaging channels are perfectly designed to do just this. Apple Business Chat (ABC) make it very straightforward for interactions with brands without having to send an email or navigate a website. Using it to book virtual (or eventually in-store) appointments creates personalized experiences and allows brands to increase engagement, creating a more loyal customer base. As customer trust grows, so does customer spending; loyal customers tend to spend 67% more than new ones. ABC has a ‘Pickers’ function that is ideal - customers can choose a time that suits them, add it to their calendar, along with all other relevant details like address, directions, and phone number. It’s a low hassle experience that builds customer satisfaction through seamless CX.
For one Conversocial customer appointment bookings driven by automation on messaging channels lowered CAC by 55% and increased AOV (average order value) by 15%
3 Benefits of Using Messaging Channels for Appointment Bookings
1. Everything happens in one channel
Getting potential customers to your website is only half the battle, 98% of website visitors leave without converting. The beauty of keeping the experience all within one channel is the chance of drop off is far lower, it’s essentially a captive audience. Messaging offers a far more seamless experience than booking appointments over email or the phone. Like on a website, all the relevant information is there in front of customers and deploying bots designed specifically for appointment booking will increase the number of virtual appointments booked, but without the potential for users to leave without converting, ultimately increasing revenue using digital innovation.
Not only is the booking process all taking place in one channel, it’s also where an entire customer lifecycle can continue, providing exceptional CX. Take Apple Business Chat - customers can book appointments, pay for products (available as a Pickers feature) using Apple Pay, get reminders or directions to the store as well as receiving notifications that can encourage future appointments or even products and discounts they can buy (also in the app!). A huge amount of this can be automated at scale, meaning a seamless experience for the customer without brands having to commit huge resources to ensure it all runs smoothly.
3. It's worth more money to brands
I mentioned earlier that loyal customers are higher-spending customers, so brands should use every tool at their disposal to maximize revenue generated from virtual appointments. Customers no longer need to be present to experience the products they’re interested in buying. Multiple messaging channels offer an augmented reality (AR) function that brands can deploy in-app, such as Apple Business Chat's ‘Quick Look’ which creates quick, one-tap AR experiences. One Conversocial partner in the beauty industry offered AR during virtual appointments, allowing customers to try on makeup within a messaging channel; the effortless experience increased conversion rates by 11.8%. AR isn’t just limited to beauty products - clothing or furniture are just two products that lend themselves to a ‘try before you buy’ experience, all from the comfort of a customer’s home. With Apple Pay also integrated into the app, it’s incredibly straight forward to recommend, try and purchase all in the same channel, with no deflections to websites for any steps in the process.
Using messaging for appointment booking offers exceptional benefits for both businesses and customers. For brands, automation offers a bot-driven solution at scale and the more customers interact with the brand over messaging, the more personalized the relationship becomes. Through the conversations, data points build to give a fuller understanding of the customer’s preferences and needs. There’s a double whammy effect - customers are satisfied with the efficiency of self-service and CLV increases because they’re more inclined to visit a store and stay loyal to the brand that’s offering bespoke CX.