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Platforms Featured APAC

MoEngage launches new WhatsApp business integration for enterprises

Philippines — In recent years, there has been a pivotal shift in consumer buying patterns – consumers have started making more important buying decisions on their smartphones. According to a study by Google, mobile searches for ‘best place to buy XYZ’ have increased by 70%, and 59% of consumers mentioned that the convenience of shopping on their mobile device is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.

With this trend, it is crucial for enterprises to keep up and capture a touchpoint with their customers at the right stage in the buying journey. Since smartphones have become an integral part of this journey, enterprises need to expand their available communication channels to include WhatsApp.

MoEngage’s insights-led engagement platform allows enterprises to learn what their customers are looking for on their mobile app or website, use AI to predict what next steps their customers are going to take, and help them automatically send contextually relevant recommendations, alerts, and reminders on multiple communication channels.

Through this collab, enterprises can have personalized communication with their tech-savvy, mobile-first customers on WhatsApp. WhatsApp is used the most by consumers in the age group of 26 to 35 and is present in almost 180 countries.

Another report shows that, while 54% of consumers prefer using WhatsApp to receive shipment status and delivery updates, 50% of consumers use WhatsApp for appointments and to get notifications of upcoming events and 23% of consumers want to receive promotional offers from their favourite brands via WhatsApp.

As more enterprises adopt WhatsApp, the WhatsApp team is improving how businesses can communicate with their customers. For example, earlier enterprises were limited to sending timely notifications, making it difficult to follow up with their customers outside of a 24-hour window. To enable seamless and timely interactions between enterprises and their customers, WhatsApp now supports more types of messages, for example, to let customers know when an item is back in stock. The team is also working on a periodically-updating service available for more types of conversations.

MoEngage is also studying behaviours and how they can integrate personalized messages to keep customers reminded and engaged on their shopping needs albeit with a very busy schedule as long as they consent to it.

Raviteja Dodda, CEO and co-founder of MoEngage, said, “By teaming up with Meta, we aim to bridge the gap between enterprises and their customers by allowing them to leverage insights about their customers, their journeys, and the long-term impact of WhatsApp campaigns on key business metrics like LTV, revenue, retention, and product stickiness.”

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Technology Featured APAC

ADA introduces new business platform for CX boost on WhatsApp

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Data and artificial intelligence company ADA has announced that it is now a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) in Asia-Pacific. Through the offering, ADA will empower businesses to connect with their customers in a private and secure environment across its markets in South and Southeast Asia.

WhatsApp Business Platform allows businesses to drive better conversations with their customers in a personalised manner, thus boosting customer engagement and increasing customer satisfaction, leading to better sales conversions.

The new integration comes in line with business recovery making its way across Southeast Asia, as well as retailers bouncing back from COVID-19. ADA notes that WhatsApp chatbots can also give operators in-store support to help guide the customer journey and enhance every bit of the customer experience.

“Over 2 billion people around the world use WhatsApp and it is the most popular messaging application in Southeast Asia. As the number of people using this app will continue to rise with the growth of digital consumers across the region, brands and businesses will need to better connect and communicate with their customers who are turning to chat with businesses on WhatsApp,” the company said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Srinivas Gattamneni, CEO at ADA, noted that chat commerce is changing the way businesses operate, and customer engagement solutions are the key drivers.

“With this WhatsApp Business Platform, ADA now offers a truly seamless end-to-end business solution across our practices – e-commerce, martech, business insights, and marketing services – for that complete customer experience and journey. The face of chat commerce as we know it will change too, with the integration of our AI and machine learning models, deepening the level of personalisation and quality of conversations,” Gattamneni said.

The new endeavour from ADA reflects the company’s vision for this year in improving the e-commerce experience in the region. During an exclusive interview by MARKETECH APAC with Gattamneni in recognition of ADA’s e-commerce solution as Product of the Year, he said that businesses need to be efficient, agile, and falling in front of new trends to cope with the ever-changing digital landscape of business.

“Be efficient with your resources and invest in what gives you the best return, whether it’s your marketing campaigns, strategic partnerships, or the various e-commerce platforms. Automation is also key to optimising your e-commerce operations in areas including content production, customer service, and fulfilment,” he told MARKETECH APAC.

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Platforms Featured Global

SG-based Vizury ties with API-based platform Kaleyra to power conversational commerce on WhatsApp

Singapore – Omnichannel customer engagement platform, Vizury, has partnered with Kaleyra, the API-based platform that engages clients with personalized messages, chatbots, programmable voice service, to enable global brands with cross-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp’s commerce abilities.

The partnership will see Vizury leveraging Kaleyra’s platform in its conversational commerce infrastructure to give its customers the complete stack to build their brand’s sales and engagement on WhatsApp. Through this, brands will be able to use the complete collection of WhatsApp Business features built for shopping, such as unique business numbers, WhatsApp AI chatbots, and powerful product recommendations, as well as advanced behavioral analytics, among others. 

Mauro Carobene, Kaleyra’s chief business officer, commented that they are looking forward to improving their business communication with WhatsApp Business API integration. 

“We believe this channel can increase the speed of response, enhance customer experiences and reduce the cost of engagement for Vizury,” said Carobene.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

New stats show Hongkongers spend an additional hour online compared to last year

Hong Kong – Hong Kong internet users spent on average almost a whole hour more online each day in 2020 compared to the previous year, a new report from creative agency We Are Social and social media management Hootsuite shows.

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According to the report, time spent on the internet daily has increased from 6 hours and 16 minutes a year ago to 7 hours and 15 minutes today, following a year of COVID-19 related lockdowns, which curtailed many normal activities. This means Hong Kong’s internet users devote over a day more per month to being online versus a year ago.

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In terms of demographics, users aged 16-64 spend an average of an hour and 57 minutes a day on social media, making it the second most popular online activity for Hong Kongers after watching television. YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook are the most used networks but Snapchat is growing in popularity as parent company Snap reports its advertising reach in Hong Kong rose by 13% over the previous quarter.

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Of the same demographic, social media is mostly used for brand research with 44% of internet users, higher than for most countries, while 34% use voice commands in searches. 

The increase in time on the internet also shone a light on ad spend which the report revealed is in tandem with such leap. A year-on-year increase of 7% was seen in the amount brands spent on advertising on social media against a 4% rise in overall digital ad spend for 2020.

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Main Feature Platforms Southeast Asia

Despite privacy policy concerns, 70% of WhatsApp users in MY snub switch, states study

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Despite concerns of WhatsApp users on its new privacy policy, which the platform announced in January of this year, 7 in 10 of users in Malaysia are still shown to stick to the messaging app, a recent study by marketing data insights platform InsightzClub shows.

The new terms require users to share their personal data with Facebook. WhatsApp clarified that it has nothing to do with the messages and profile data, and instead is related to business advertising purposes.The new policy stirred panic among users worldwide, with a large portion migrating to other messaging applications such as Telegram and Signal. 

According to the report, reliance on WhatsApp usage among Malaysians increased during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, swelling to 68%, compared to pre-pandemic periods. Even when the platform amended its privacy policies, Malaysian patrons were shown to stay, which majority, or 65%, use for personal and professional communication. 

Still, amid the changes, Malaysian users were still shown to be in tandem with majority of users of the platform, creating a mild state of paranoia, worrying about their location sharing (60%), stored private messages (56%), and accessing media files (54%). 

The report stated that Malaysians’ loyalty is necessitated by circumstances to remain on the platform, and only 3 out of 10 users installed an alternative app compared to the big chunk of WhatsApp users worldwide, which is said to be 82%, who have installed one or more additional messaging apps recently, like Signal and Telegram, owing to the bandwagon effect.

Meanwhile, the small portion of Malaysian users who made the switch were due to concerns over migrating personal circles (48%), and simply, curiosity (32%).

Telegram is already capitalizing on this opportunity in the coming year, as they have set a target of gaining 1 billion a user base by 2022 – something that’s unimaginable just a year ago. 

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Platforms Featured South Asia

Bangladesh ridesharing app OBHAI now also available on WhatsApp

Dhaka, Bangladesh – OBHAI, the locally-based ridesharing application, has expanded its online services to WhatsApp, tapping on the communication app’s ease of use and application to all walks of life.

The new WhatsApp integration fits the accessibility bill, as WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly active users around the globe, and 22% or around 40 Million users in Bangladesh.

“As Bangladesh marches forward towards a more sophisticated digital era, the masses are now more accustomed to having the world at the palm of their hands. As such, the frequency of communication via social media platforms, the likes of Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp etc. are increasing significantly,” the company said in their press statement.

It added, “Keeping the need and comfort of the citizens of Bangladesh in mind, OBHAI edged a step ahead and introduced its own WhatsApp service to complement its ride-sharing offerings, and to provide passengers a more personalized experience.”

Through the OBHAI app, users can book the OBHAI G (car), CNG (three-wheeler), or OBHAI Express (parcel) on WhatsApp. Commuters can save +8801313201222 in their address book as ‘OBHAI WhatsApp’ to which they will type ‘Hi’, as automated replies will pop up, to which one would simply punch in the corresponding number to their needed service.

“WhatsApp OBHAI booking will help a lot of OBHAI users to simply order an OBHAI Gari, OBHAI CNG, and even order OBHAI Express services in few keystrokes,” said Anis Ahmed, startup founder and investor at OBHAI.

OBHAI WhatsApp can be used by current OBHAI customers seamlessly, and all facilities including refund requests, complaints, billing, reviewing ride history, and suggestions will be available within minutes from OBHAI call center representatives.

The ridesharing app has existing services across 53 cities in Bangladesh.

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Platforms Featured Global

Facebook CMO steps down

United States – The incumbent chief marketing officer of Facebook, Antonio Lucio took to their own social media platform the announcement of his resignation, which will be effective Sept. 18. 

Lucio said that his decision to step down was due to his desire to refocus his time on advocating for causes of diversity and inclusion, issues which have demanded greater attention in the past few months in the United States. 

“Given the historical inflection point we are in as a country regarding racial justice, I have decided to dedicate 100% of my time to diversity, inclusion, and equity,” wrote Lucio.

In May, a series of protests for racial justice began in the US when African-American George Floyd was killed by a white police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis city. 

Lucio said, “‘Although these issues have been core to my personal purpose for many years, and they were an important element of my work, I want to make them my sole focus.” 

Come September, Lucio will have served a total of two years on Facebook. In his post, he recounted the projects that the company has launched under his leadership and said that although there is “still a lot of work to be done, [there] is a strong foundation from which to build.”

“The work and progress made over the last two years [are] all due and thanks to [the team]: “More Together” for Facebook app, “It’s Between You” for WhatsApp, the Instagram anti-bullying platform, the launch of Messenger Rooms, “Never Alone,” “Born in Quarantine” and the launch of a new identity system for the corporate brand.”

Expressing his confidence to the team ahead, he wrote, “This team is ready to deliver its best work yet.”

Meanwhile, Facebook said that they support Lucio’s decision. 

“Antonio did incredible work telling our story during a transformative period for the company, “ a spokesperson said.

“[Facebook is] grateful for his enormous contributions and wish him well in his next chapter.”