How RCS Business Messaging can make conversational commerce a reality

Learn how rich channels such as RCS Business Messaging enable businesses to bring conversational commerce to life.

Martina Ivanović

Conversational commerce has evolved from just marketing and support to serving the entire customer journey, all the way to transactions. 

Customers want to engage with brands and be engaged by them on their channel of choice, which is mobile. This is why we see much more personalization today, with the ability for customers to complete transactions from start to finish within one messaging channel – preferably one that is convenient and accessible at their fingertips. 

Channels such as RCS Business Messaging make it easy for brands to set up conversational experiences that attract, engage, and retain customers for the long term. 

Infobip’s Silvija Renusa sat down with Google’s Tim Atkinson to discuss the opportunities our partnership and RCS present as the foundation for brands’ conversational strategies, now and in the future. 

RCS Business Messaging as a key conversational commerce channel

Brands that want to grab users’ attention in today’s overcrowded eCommerce world must focus on enabling customers to complete their entire journey – from searching for an item to buying that item – all within one seamless experience.

The asynchronous mode of messaging which eliminates the need to complete an action at a particular time makes rich messaging apps the go-to channel for building such experiences. Brands also shouldn’t forget that customers are used to receiving messages – from their friends, family, colleagues, and from businesses – making it a natural form of daily communication. 

RCS branded profiles add an element of trust, while carousels with intuitive CTAs provide an interactive experience. This makes it an even more appropriate channel for customers to use rather than being on the phone waiting to speak with an agent. 

As a user, to receive a verified message is going to become commonplace as we go through 2023 and over the years to come.

Tim Atkinson

RCS Business Development Manager, Google

Using rich messaging channels as a part of a wider omnichannel communication strategy can help brands meet increasing consumer demand for seamless on-the-go experiences.  

Being able to engage with a brand when and where they want without having to wait on hold is paramount to modern consumers – and it builds customer trust. 

Leveraging cloud technology such as a customer data platform, customer engagement solution, remote contact center, and AI chatbots can help brands get to know their customers better through the channel. Collecting and analyzing interactions can help you provide personalized recommendations, increasing a customer’s likelihood to purchase and stay loyal to your brand. Providing such personalized content leads to a better-developed conversational commerce experience that enables customers to ask for support, browse catalogs, and seek additional information about a product or service before purchase. 

Conversational commerce via RCS: Use cases and examples

Consumers now use RCS Business Messaging for a wide myriad of conversational commerce activities – from buying plane and train tickets to receiving boarding passes, completing transactions, and resolving problems with customer service. 

Charities and city councils have also introduced this as a new channel to collect donations for a specific cause or provide additional information to help citizens get more involved. 

These uses of rich messaging have picked up pace across Europe and in the Americas as well. 

We’ve seen this pick up pace on our platform as well, with the most customer engagement interactions in 2022 happening on RCS – and 52% more interactions taking place last year compared to 2021. 

Rather than receiving an anonymous text message which has a short code, customers will see a brand’s verified profile which assures them they’re completing a safe and secure transaction.  

Brands that have implemented RCS as a customer communication channel have managed to increase customer engagement compared to traditional channels such as SMS and Email. 

Covéa Group is a good example. The insurance company decided to unify its customer experience into a conversational one – moving from a fragmented three-channel set up to an omnichannel approach. Covéa Group used a customer data platform to personalize communication through automated engagement and chatbot solutions on RCS – using SMS and Email as failover options. This led to an 11% conversion rate and higher retention rates for the insurance company, demonstrating the power conversational experiences have for long-term business success.

A few other brands that have reaped the benefits of conversational experiences via RCS include:

The channel’s popularity for customer communication has risen and continues to rise, as we saw 5x more interactions among telecom brands on our platform in 2022 compared to 2021 – and 6x more interactions among B2B platforms.

Shaping the future of conversational commerce with AI

Developments in AI technology will only take conversational commerce further – extending the list of use cases on rich messaging channels. 

We can anticipate AI will lead to greater advancements among chatbots – freeing up resources in contact centers to concentrate on more challenging activities and reducing costs for brands as they make their call centers more efficient.

AI will enable businesses to have the same resources but with the ability to deploy them to different tasks – enabling them to handle, manage, and resolve more with less.

Tim Atkinson

RCS Business Development Manager, Google

Brands need to provide support at every stage of the customer journey, and AI technology just makes it easier for them to do so. Conversational AI chatbots understand customer intent and get to know customer preferences the more they interact with them. And now, with GPT3 and GPT4, these chatbots have evolved to resolve more complex queries – assisting customers by answering product questions, providing recommendations, and processing orders.

How to get started

Brands that want to set up conversational commerce experiences need to first find the right channels and technology to support their specific use cases. 

A good first step is to take any existing SMS campaigns and upgrade them with the verification and branded features RCS Business Messaging can offer. Leverage the seen and delivery reports to see what works and what doesn’t as you build interactive, engaging experiences. Then, it will be easier to build on top of that using additional technology such as chatbots, marketing automation, and cloud contact center solutions to roll out conversational commerce campaigns

Most importantly, using a customer data platform will power personalized messages that bring the full potential of RCS as a customer communication channel to light. Leveraging the data you already have to segment and target customers with the right campaigns will drive the best results. 

Brands have the data – now it’s time to shape it in the right way to produce the best results.

Silvija Renusa

Senior Product Partnership Manager

Having a global, reliable communications provider with strong partnerships will ensure:

  • messages are delivered 
  • the channel is being used to its full potential 
  • the best use cases are being implemented 
  • regular reporting and analytics 
  • a long-term strategy for success

Our team of in-house CX consultants are trained in behavioral economics and work with brands to define their desired business outcomes to build a powerful CX strategy. Talk to us to start setting up your conversational commerce experience on time.

Get the playbook

Discover the fundamentals of conversational experience, including advantages and key use cases across the customer journey – from engaging with customers to supporting them and facilitating transactions. 

Learn more about conversational commerce

May 26th, 2023
6 min read

Martina Ivanović