• Daniel Budai

What the ecommerce Messenger marketing landscape looks like in 2019

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

Messenger marketing is still a relatively new breed of marketing in 2019.


Messenger fans like it because of its high open rates and click-through rates.


However, revenue is the name of the game. As a homie once told me, “good luck trying to get interest on your open rates with your bank” :D


I’ve already seen nice results with chatbots in high-ticket services, course selling, and customer support, but not in ecom.


NO FCKING ONE posted any nice results with ecom chatbots until a few months ago.

Ecom is a game of its own.


It has specific technical solutions (such as an abandoned cart message), while Messenger has its own limitations now because of the hosting platform.


But things are improving and I think messaging marketing is the future…



WHY MESSAGING IS THE FUTURE OF BRAND COMMUNICATION


I don’t like throwing out an opinion statement without showing you supporting facts.


Messenger chatbots help you acquire new customers and get repeat sales from older customers.


Messaging apps have more active monthly users now than social media platforms—look at the figure below.



Source: The Messaging App Report, Business Insider

Also, as you can see, the most popular messaging app had more than 1.3 billion active monthly users at the end of 2017.


Source: Facebook Messenger Day hits 70M daily users as the app reaches 1.3B monthlies, TechNewsGround.com

Here are some more shocking numbers about messaging:


  • 80% of adults and 91% of teens use messaging apps (including text and SMS) every day (Source: Facebook Newsroom)


  • 53% of people who currently use messaging apps to interact with brands are more likely to shop with a business they can message (Source: Facebook Business)


  • Over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger each month (Source: Facebook Newsroom)


As you can see, people love messaging not only with each other but with their favorite brands too, and it increases the trust between them and their favorite brands.


In other industries such as the hospitality industry, SnapTravel noted more than $1M in hotel bookings in less than a year using their bot.


By now, I think you can feel the opportunity of Messenger chatbots. But you may not be sure how to implement them properly to convert them into cash cows.


Read further and I’ll show you how…



1. ECOMMERCE MESSENGER MARKETING PLATFORMS


If you are in ecom, you have several options.


Here’s what I tried already: Manychat, Octane AI, Recart…


All of these have different features with different solutions.


Three great ecommerce Messenger platforms we already tested

MANYCHAT


Probably the No.1 chatbot builder today promoted by some big names like Ezra Firestone (he even has a course on his best tactics).


Pros:

  • Very easy to use and set up

  • It has more features than other tools

  • If you’re familiar with email marketing, it has the same logic; you can set up flows, campaigns, pop ups, etc.

  • You can create a Customer Support bubble to your website

  • You can connect it with Facebook Advertising

  • It has more features than Recart or Octane AI and it gives your more creativity to make up new tactics


Cons:

  • It has a lot of bugs with Shopify

  • It’s less sophisticated for ecommerce than Recart or Octane AI since it’s not built specifically for ecom


RECART


Recart is from Europe, and I personally know the owner who had several ecom stores before starting this software company.


Since he was in ecommerce before, he really knows the pain points of store owners.

It works with Shopify and BigCommerce.


Pros:

  • The simplest Messenger chatbot platform out there

  • It only takes a few minutes to set up the main flows

  • Built-in templates to use for dummies

  • Commission-based pricing, win-win for everyone


Cons:

  • If you want to set up complicated flows, this tool is not for you now

  • The analytics is not always dependable so you will want to check Google Analytics too


OCTANE AI:


This is the newest tool of the three in my comparison. They work closely with Shopify and Klaviyo, so if you already use these platforms, you should probably give it a try.


Pros:

  • Native Shopify app and smooth integration with Klaviyo, Recharge, and Yotpo

  • Precise analytics about open rates, click-through rates, sales, and more

  • Customer Support bubble can be added with Octane AI

  • Very responsive customer support, they usually reply in 5 minutes

  • Partner program with agencies


Cons:

  • It only works with Shopify, not other ecommerce platforms

  • More difficult to set up than Recart and it’s a relatively new platform


All in all, you can pick any of these tools, but tbh I think there’s not a huge difference among them now because the whole Messenger game is changing ridiculously fast.


These companies come up with new features all the time while Messenger constantly changes the rules of the game.


Everything is still in the womb and things are evolving fast. So, it’s more about having the right mindset about how to communicate with chatbot.



2. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE


Before getting more into the ins and outs of Messenger marketing, I want to talk about an even more important thing.


Most marketers tend to think in tactics and ignore the overall experience of their customers.


Your potential customers will react to your Messenger marketing based on their experience.


Which means…


If they subscribe without noticing it and you bombard them with promotional messages, your open rates may be high.


But this is probably because they want to immediately unsubscribe from your stuff.


But if you use it smart, you can give them incentives to subscribe.


Source: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Single Grain

Mix it with other channels such as email or Facebook Ads, and send them branded content and holiday promotions which they love…


…and your efforts will make you money.


Also, I see many people judging Messenger chatbots or having a debate about whether chatbots or other marketing channels are better than email.


If you do this too, you may be ignoring two crucial points in marketing:

  • Marketing is always a marketing mix, it’s not black and white

  • User experience is key, not which platform you use


Let’s talk about the second point here.


A user who is satisfied with a website experience is a user who will continue to use your services and increase your revenues.


Possible variables that determine whether a user finally becomes satisfied or not: website experience, checkout experience, shipping info, customer service.


Messenger is destined to improve the last steps of user communication which are usually designated to email marketing or apps.

Let’s take a look at the 5 key points where Messenger chatbots can help you to connect better with your website users and customers.


1.


Shipping info: once someone has ordered from your store, they’ll receive the tracking information of their order product and the day and time scheduled for delivery.


Since they get it on Messenger, it feels more personal than checking in on your website or getting an email.



Source: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Single Grain

Source: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Single Grain

2.


Abandoned cart recovery: This is probably the biggest amount left on the table by most ecom business owners.


This is where you ask people in 1-3 messages to go back to their abandoned carts and get your products now.


Though it’s technically a complicated issue in Messenger to solve the building of abandoned cart flows, it’s definitely worth it for software companies because abandoned cart messages have the highest revenue per message ratio in the ecom world.


Budai Media results with abandoned cart Messenger messages

3.


Sending broadcast campaigns:


You can build your list just like you do with an email tool and send them messages with great open rates.


The big advantage of Messenger is that you can send videos, audio files, articles, GIFs and many more file formats than with email.


However, in my experience, you can’t send out as many campaigns as with emails because people get annoyed easier than with email campaigns.


Just imagine: you want to talk with that cute girl who you met yesterday in the bar, and you get pushy and invasive messages with the latest promos from a retail company.


Messenger is different than email.


People want to have personal communication with friends and colleagues.


An occasional useful promotion will be welcome by most – but salesy will not.


Send out 1-2 per month at the beginning, and if you have a strong brand, you can send out 5-8 per month.


Source: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Single Grain

4.


Customer Service:


Believe it or not but 44% of customers believe live chat is the most important feature a site can offer during a purchase according to the survey of Forrester.


There are many ways you can help your customers with a chatbot.


You can use it to field FAQs and provide simple answers, and you can also use it to collect some basic information like email, order number and description of the problem before passing it along to one of your support reps to take over.


However, it’s important to remember that this tech isn’t state of the art yet and won’t solve any problems.


In 2019, you have to make sure that there’s human support on standby to help answer any questions for your visitors.


5.


Use Facebook Ads:

If you use Click-to-Messenger Ads, you can encourage Facebook users to begin a conversation with your bot directly from their Facebook feed.


You won’t be disappointed. Click-to-Messenger Ads have one of the highest ROAS of all types of Facebook Ads.


Why?


People love to start conversations (probably even more if it’s a robot).


So, don’t try to hide that they’re gonna talk with a robot.


Once they start a conversation, you can continue the whole thing in a zillion ways such as sending a video, survey, or promotion right away.


Source: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Single Grain

6.


Message your email list:


Email OR Messenger?


It’s the question of losers.


The winners say: BOTH.


Offer incentives to your email subscribers if they subscribe to your Messenger list.


That way, you’ll be able to reach them on two platforms. The more ties you have with them the better.


You can also insert your Messenger chatbot link as an icon in the footer of your emails.


Source: Sumo.com

Source: The Boom by Cindy Joseph

7.


Use the power of comments:

Few business owners use this feature, but those few benefit a lot!


With this feature, you can select a Facebook post and when someone comments below your post, you can message them on Messenger.


This gives you the opportunity to contact your Facebook fans in many ways:

You can send specific messages to people who commented using specific words on your posts


Choose to have your bot reply to comments on all of your Facebook posts or a single selected post


You can also create a contest, so when people comment on your post, you’ll message them and ask for their emails to participate in the contest



3. POPUPS AND WIDGETS


There are many ways that you can add your Messengers subs to your list: comments, customer support, by messaging your email list, Fb Ads, etc. ut here’s how to add your website visitors (probably your biggest potential):


Use popups and a Messenger widget.


Below your “Add to Cart” button, you can add a “Send to Messenger” button with a checkbox and offer different incentives.



Messenger 'Add-to-Cart' optin widgets

Here’s an update…


Until a few weeks before this article was written, you could simply add the “Send to Messenger” button with the pre-checked checkbox meaning that every person got subscribed who clicked the “Add to Cart” button and didn’t uncheck the box.

But this caused much friction later because most people didn’t think about the pre-checked checkbox but they got surprised later by receiving messages on Messenger.


It looks like if someone doesn’t have to consent by actively checking the checkbox before clicking the “Add to Cart” button, they usually click the “Add to Cart” button without giving any attention to the pre-checked checkbox.


Facebook recognized the issue and they suspended the option to pick pre-checked checkboxes on your website.


Now you can use only unchecked checkboxes by default and visitors have to check it to subscribe to your Messenger list.


Older stores may still have the pre-checked checkboxes, but it’ll be removed from their websites in a few months too.


Since there aren’t pre-checked checkboxes anymore, you need incentives to get people to check the box.


There are many ways to do it: 10-15% discount, gift card or VIP membership, offering some guarantee…


Once you have figured this out and your visitors have subscribed, you’ll be able to send abandoned cart messages, shipping info, fulfillment messages, welcome messages, different flows and broadcasting messages.


Another great way to catch people is to use an exit-intent popup.


It’s very similar to what you do with emails, but it’s easier to subscribe.


When someone wants to leave your website, they can see a popup and they only need to tap the popup once to subscribe.


No email address, no crazily difficult buttons.


Messenger optin panel

CONCLUSIONS ABOUT ECOMMERCE MESSENGER MARKETING


Let’s cut the BS here: I think 10-15% extra revenue every month is absolutely possible now with Messenger chatbots if you use them in the right way.


However, Messenger chatbot is still in the early stages of its evolution. I feel it’s overhyped and many people use it in the wrong way.


They just don’t care about the user experience but want to use it because this is the new trend.


It’s all about the user experience my friend…


Don’t be one of these guys.


Also, there isn’t a battle between the ROI of email and Messenger.


Marketing is always a marketing mix (at least good marketing).


Don’t be one of those guys, either.


Use both.


Use it smartly, make your customer’s experience better with it, and rob the bank ;)

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