14 September 2021

What is chat marketing and how it benefits your e-commerce business

Written by

Faye Chong

Digital Marketing Executive


14 September 2021

What is chat marketing and how it benefits your e-commerce business

Written by: Faye Chong, Digital Marketing Executive


In this rapidly changing digital landscape, businesses are bolstering their efforts to build and retain a loyal customer base amid all the digital noise. Capturing a customer’s attention is now increasingly difficult — a study by Microsoft shows that the human attention span has shrunk to eight seconds.

That said, it’s more important than ever to build a digital audience, and one that’s primarily mobile. After all, statistics show that worldwide mobile e-commerce revenue is expected to reach 3.56 billion US dollars in 2021. Also, 58% of people feel more confident to message a business than to make a call. 

But how do you go about marketing your business to your digitally-inclined audience without making use of heavily saturated platforms like social media? 🤔

The answer: Chat marketing.

Chat marketing may be the only solution that allows you to communicate with customers and market your business on a more personal level. 

However, you might be wondering, “What exactly is chat marketing? How do I go about doing it? How can I benefit from it?” 

If you’re perplexed by this, don’t worry because we’ll be clearing all your doubts concerning chat marketing in this article. Let’s get down to it! 

What is chat marketing?

Chat marketing is a marketing approach that acquires and engages customers using messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as through live chat and chatbots. In other words, it refers to the use of chat for business purposes.

This method involves direct 1-on-1 conversations with customers, allowing businesses to deliver personalized messages like product updates, recommendations, notifications, and many more.

An example of chat marketing on WhatsApp. Source: NovoChat

Benefits of chat marketing

Quicker communication

12 hours and 10 minutes.

That’s the average customer service response time and that’s way too long

Did you know that 78% of leads will buy from businesses that respond first? And to add to that, 83% of online shoppers need some sort of assistance to push them to make a purchase. 

So, imagine the potential opportunities you’re missing out on because you’re taking an average of 12 hours to respond to your customers. 🤯 

However, when communicating with a web visitor via chat messaging, your reps can deliver quicker and more timely responses as compared to other conventional communication methods. 

There’s also much more opportunity to convert your customers because there’s an ongoing conversation and you can guide them in making a purchase decision. 

Higher open and engagement rates

One reason why chat marketing is gaining popularity so rapidly is because of its unmatched open and engagement rates. 

Here are some statistics to back up this claim: 

  • 82% of people open every text message they receive, while email’s open rates are only 20%
  • Chat has a 10% conversion rate, while email has a 4% conversion rate
  • 43% of people said they have proactively texted a business

This shows how using chat marketing far outweighs email marketing.

Highly personalized conversations

Using chat to communicate with your customers allows for more personalized conversations in an informal setting. 

Before WhatsApp Business came about, it was mainly used for personal interaction between friends and family. By inserting your business into such an environment, you automatically create a more personal setting to chat with your customers. 

Also, you can easily reach out to your customer’s chat inbox with tailored messages and product recommendations based on past interactions with them. You will be able to maintain customer context due to previous chat history that remains within the chat itself. 

Increase customer loyalty

All the previous points mentioned lead to this: increased customer loyalty. For e-commerce businesses, it can be extremely difficult to promote customer loyalty because of the lack of physical presence and interaction.

That’s why chat marketing allows you to provide fast, reliable, and personalized conversations that improve customer service and satisfaction. Because customers are more engaged with your brand, this will lead to an increase in customer loyalty.

Types of chat marketing

WhatsApp marketing

There’s no doubt that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform to date. With over 2 billion active users worldwide and 100 billion messages exchanged every year, WhatsApp is a great way to market your business.

An example of WhatsApp marketing. Source: NovoChat

With advanced features such as a Business catalog, broadcast messaging, and semi-automation, you can easily boost the visibility of your product offerings as well as engage with your customers.

Messenger marketing

Facebook needs no introduction. With over 1.3 billion people using Messenger to communicate with brands and 10 billion messages exchanged between people and businesses every month, it’s a shame if you’re not tapping into Messenger marketing.

Similar to WhatsApp marketing, you can use Messenger to share product updates, announcements, and special offers. You can also send marketing images, videos, and GIFs to enhance communication with your customers.

An example of Messenger Marketing. Source: Internet Marketing Ninjas

Furthermore, Facebook allows you to directly add a link on your website to your Messenger chat so that customers can reach out to you easily.

Live chat marketing

Live chat marketing refers to marketing your products and services to a customer in real-time using live chat software. 

With the advancements in technology, many live chat software allow you to send tailored and personalized messages to your customers based on their search intent, previous interactions with your site, and even how long they have been on your site. 

Live chat widgets can also be configured to only pop up when there is a trigger, such as when a web visitor scrolls to a certain part of the website or enters your pricing page. This creates potential opportunities to guide and upsell your products and services to help visitors to reach a purchase decision. 

An example of live chat marketing. Source: GoodFirms

Chatbot marketing

Chatbot marketing refers to engaging with your customers through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). 

Similar to how live chat works, chatbots can initiate conversations with web visitors and can be configured to pop up on certain triggers. The main difference between both is that chatbot marketing is, well, manned by chatbots

An example of chatbot marketing. Source: Instapage

Many businesses use chatbots to answer frequently asked questions like business hours, product details, purchase and refund policies, and point to resources for commonly-faced troubleshooting inquiries.

Having a strong keyword recognition chatbot can also preemptively identify common keywords found in customer complaints and alert your customer service representatives. If it is a complaint, your representatives can then follow up with the customer. 

However, keep in mind that while chatbots can certainly take the weight off for your customer service team, the ultimate responsibility of delivering prompt and effective customer service still lies with your human team.

Snapchat marketing

Launched in 2011, Snapchat has been growing in popularity and to date, there are over 293 million daily active users. That’s why many businesses have turned to Snapchat to market their business — but it isn’t for everyone. 

Snapchat is slightly different from the chat marketing methods we’ve mentioned above. The camera and messaging app was designed to be a casual and fun platform, hence the platform is used more for building brand awareness and showing the quirky side of your business. 

You can use Snapchat to create a branded filter, 3D videos, and even post Snap ads to drive users to your website and encourage purchases. 

An example of Snapchat marketing. Source: HootSuite

What’s next?

We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of what chat marketing is and how it can benefit your e-commerce business. 

There’s no doubt that chat marketing is taking over conventional marketing practices and changing the way businesses interact with customers.

Ready to try chat marketing for your e-commerce business? Try out NovoChat’s free trial to see how we can help skyrocket your sales! 👇