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Retailers get access to RCS and WhatsApp to improve access to the ‘messenger-first’ economy

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Retail marketers are getting a boost in the ‘messenger first’ economy as customer engagement company Engage Hub rolls out rich communications services (RCS) and WhatsApp access programmes to help deliver streamlined and agile interaction with shoppers.

RCS, the next generation of SMS, and WhatsApp, one of the most popular and widely used chat applications worldwide, have been added to Engage Hub’s range of offerings to ensure that clients can communicate with their customers at any time, using their preferred choice of channel.

Engage Hub’s integration with WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to send and receive messages, audio files and documents to and from 1.5 billion users. This fundamentally allows businesses to contact their customers through the applications that they use the most. Moreover, moving away from pure SMS allows businesses to send rich notifications that would be previously unavailable.

Karen Waters, Product Director, Engage Hub explains: “In today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, those businesses that survive and thrive will be those that quickly adapt to changing customer demand. Nowadays, customers want to consolidate everything – whether it be personal communication or speaking with brands, in one simple platform – one channel for multiple needs. As WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted channel, businesses can deliver a rich, two-way conversation through a secure channel right from the get-go.”

Alongside the launch of WhatsApp, Engage Hub is also launching RCS capability to allow customers to receive rich content in order to compete with other OTT channels such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, iMessage and WhatsApp. 

In initial tests, RCS campaigns have had a stronger click through rate than SMS and allow rich, personalised messaging to be brought to native apps through a client’s carrier rather than a third party.

Chris Wallbank, Product Manager, says: “Personalised and tailored communication with customers in the form of images, videos and even GIFs, is what is going to help brands retain a loyal customer base. RCS is the perfect tool to ensure that brands can engage with their customers in the most bespoke way possible. RCS truly will be the difference between those brands that thrive at the customer experience game, and those that don’t.”

Finally, Engage Hub has been working with a selection of clients to trial the latest version of its new ‘Customer Journey Tracker’. The new tool gives clients a visual representation of the customer journey through Engage Hub’s platform and third-party systems, giving businesses insight into customers interactions and allowing them to optimise and improve experiences. It will be fully available in Autumn 2019.

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