U.S. Millennials Want to Do Business on Chat and Businesses Need to Catch Up

Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Trends Report reveals that more than 8 in 10 millennials want to make purchases on chat

Clickatell, the leader in mobile communications and chat commerce, released its second Chat Commerce Trends Report and, according to the findings, chat is the next big thing for U.S commerce with 82% of millennials wanting to make purchases via chat apps like the ones they use to talk to friends and family. Already, 88% of millennials use chat to communicate with businesses, underscoring chat as a channel of choice.

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89% of millennials want to do business on chat

The Chat Commerce Trends Report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. millennials conducted by Dimensional Research in partnership with Clickatell, underscores that younger consumers are ready to move to chat not only for customer service but to also complete business transactions.

Clickatell’s latest report reveals that 93% of millennials have identified significant benefits to doing business on chat:

  • 48% save time and easily get a quick response
  • 43% respond to a chat when it is convenient for them
  • 41% keep all conversations in the same place
  • 38% use an app that they are already using on a regular basis
  • 36% want conversations in one place so any agent can pick up with all history immediately
  • 34% don’t need to install other apps
  • 25% want businesses to easily verify their identity or personal information
  • 24% want businesses to send offers specific to them or their account
  • 19% don’t want to speak to a live person

Meeting Consumers Where They Are: On Chat

A full 71% of millennials use chat apps daily, led by Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram Chat, the research shows. This is occurring at a time when more than 6.1 billion monthly active chat users outnumber the over 4.6 billion Internet users, according to Statista 2021.

“Younger consumers have moved to chat and are ready to do business on chat,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO and Co-Founder of Clickatell. “This research shows they value the convenience and speed of doing business via their favorite chat apps. Businesses will gain a competitive edge by meeting this increasingly influential group of consumers where they are, which is on chat.”

While millennials are ready, businesses have work to do, the research reveals. Only 10% of millennials say brands “always” offer the digital communication channel of their choice—including chat app, social media and phone.

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Other results of the research show that:

  • 89% of millennials want to do business on chat
  • 54% of millennials have received a message through a chat app about an order pickup, delivery or package arrival
  • 38% have received a link via chat to make a payment
  • 41% have used a link via chat to book or confirm an order, appointment or a reservation

The survey results mirror sentiments by research firm Gartner stated in a recent report, ‘What is the Future of Advanced Messaging in CPaaS Solutions?’ “Advanced messaging APIs constituting of apps, such as WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, RCS, RBM,  ABC, Signal, Telegram, and Viber, are growing at a significantly faster pace (approximately 90% CAGR), and are projected to reach approximately $800 million by 2024. One key reason for this trend is that end users are increasingly turning to more advanced messaging channels for their daily conversations. Therefore, advanced messaging is a key way for enterprises to reach customers.”1

“The macro drivers turning chat commerce into the next big thing are aligning. Consumers are broadly using chat apps with friends and family, they want to do the same with businesses, and leading brands are experimenting,” de Villiers said. “We’ll see increasingly rapid uptake in the months and years ahead. In the not-so-distant future, chat apps and commerce will be indelibly linked.”

Chat apps work across industries, the research shows. The top things consumers want to do most via chat app include making hotel or airline reservations, asking questions of banks and retailers, and ordering from restaurants.

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