The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how retail consumers expect to be served before, during and after any transaction or communication

In a survey of 6,500 people (comprising retail consumers and businesses) across Australia, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam on business messaging trends, over

40% of respondents indicated a higher frequency of communicating with a business messaging more frequently than before the COVID-19 pandemic period starting in 2020.

The trend was similar across all age groups, especially among Millennials and Gen Zs who were messaging businesses up to eight times every month. 

Other data in the survey showed:

  • 90% of businesses respondents indicated that messaging apps were important for success. 
  • 80% of retail consumers indicated that they planned to continue using messaging to interact with businesses.
  • 50% or more of business respondents indicated that they used business messaging for after-sales services.
  • 61% of respondents in retail and e-commerce businesses used it business messaging to manage pre-sales enquiries.
  • 50% of business respondents on average were using business messaging to process orders and transactions.
  • Overall, use cases for business messaging included consumer packaged goods, retail, financial services and e-commerce, across communications involving basic enquiries, lead generation, one-to-one consultations, customization, feedback, re-marketing and signals collection.

According to Dan Neary, VP, Meta (APAC), which commissioned the study, the data shows that the ability to message a business is emerging as a consumer baseline expectation: “As business messaging largely takes place across social and messaging platforms, we are committed to enabling businesses of all sizes with capabilities to activate this channel for growth.”

The survey report included three recommendations to businesses for managing this trend:

  1. Evaluate the potential of business messaging throughout the entire customer journey: define clear objectives for solving pain points in each phase.
  2. Prioritize business messaging so that customers receive timely, personal and relevant information. Build conversations that are seamless and go deeper, providing customers with a convenient and smooth experience. 

Ensure that business message solutions are scalable, to facilitate smooth handling of large volumes of enquiries and higher chat conversion rates.