If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger, it might feel vaguely reminiscent of AOL’s Instant Messenger from back in the day. You choose a chat partner and essentially text back and forth in real time. So why not just use regular old text messaging? Well, Facebook Messenger offers a host of perks, including video chat, picture and video share, GIFs, and exceptionally expressive emoticons. Messenger is far more seamless, exciting, and efficient to use than texting.
But the news gets better! Facebook has announced a Messenger for Business that offers an entirely new range of possibilities for merchants to strategically utilize. Though it may sound like a foreign concept, all great technology usually does until we have all assimilated. Messenger for Business could very well be the next generation of business-to-consumer communication.
Currently, when an online shopper makes a purchase, the checkout can be a lengthy process that ends in a confirmation email, authentication, and additional web links to encourage future purchases. The success of this system relies upon the customer diligently checking email and distinguishing legitimate messages from ever-present spam. There’s no disputing that this system has worked well for many years, but Messenger for Business is about to recreate it.
According to Facebook, the objective is to “reinvent the way people communicate and interact with businesses.” In other words, this can replace email in favor of real-time interactions complete with relevant graphics and notifications.
Customers will need to opt-in to receive the messages, but once they do they can receive updates and even communicate back to discuss further purchases, questions, or problems. For you, the merchant, this means that your customers can enjoy a personalized shopping experience with much more accessible customer service.
More than 600 million people use Facebook Messenger on a monthly basis, so it’s only logical to harness this incredible power for business use.