Dawn of communication apps? A new toy for e-commerce.

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

We all know what Text Messaging is and we know how to use Chat and Messaging apps. E-commerce is adopting those two channels however both have its drawbacks. Text messaging is limited by the number of signs you can use and the fact it is accepting only text, no rich media. It is fairly expensive in comparison to other communication means as far as business usage is concern.

Messaging apps are great in terms of communication however you need to be either connected to messenger solution or download an app. There are also some security risks like the content of the instant message may be intercepted. As a result the sensitive data like customer list, sales report may be revealed on the internet.

Solution to those problems might be RCS – Rich Communication Services, the solution has been around for a while but recent adoption from Google and Samsung might speed up the development and adoption of this new format.

So what is RCS?

As Android Authority put it: “RCS is part of the new Advanced Messaging standard designed to greatly improve messaging functionality that comes installed on phones by default.” The functions extend to “higher quality picture messaging up to 10MB in size, group chats, location sharing, and even video calls by default.”

More than 95% of people who downloaded an app stop using it after 30 days and it is hard for eCommerce to capitalize it. SMS campaigns continue to enjoy an average open rate of 98%, and an average response rate of 90 seconds. In contrast, the average app campaign loses 77% of its users in the first three days, and 95% after 90 days. As the evolution of texting, RCS offers the eye-catching functions of OTT apps, with the unbeatable reach of SMS.

According to Forbes:“RCS enables companies to visually brand their messages so users can tell who the message is from. Another unique feature is the ability to send carousels of images that include embedded calls to action (CTAs) via text. RCS has connections with other Android apps like maps and calling. Maps can be embedded in your text message to show your brick-and-mortar location. In addition, it can send security verification via text”.

What does it mean for eCommerce?

First of all customers will be able to receive text messages from verified senders, no more unknown text messages.

  • Rich Media, unlike traditional SMS you will be able to send images, maps, gifs and any color you wish.

  • Suggested Replies – CTA buttons inserted into message.

  • Branding – name and logo to be sent within the message.

  • QR Codes and Suggested Actions including maps, calendar and urls.

  • Interactive booking and Location personalization.

  • Push Notification

  • Group chat up to 100 people

What’s next for RCS?

It is available in 30 countries so far however the adoption is still low. In Poland mobile carriers are looking into introducing this to the wider public but nothing set in stone yet.