Conversational Commerce is a term coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in a Medium article in early 2015. It explains the power of Messaging and its impact on sales. Also explains how business would see messaging as a mode to convert and earn.

This has become a reality with a mobile app and website developers integrating real-time chat within their apps. However, relying on in-house capabilities to build and maintain a chat plugin comes with lots of disadvantages. It is advisable to buy 3rd party SaaS solutions and get rid of all worries at once. Have a look at our take on Build vs Buy.

Some of the solutions providers in this domain are:

  • Applozic
  • Sendbird
  • Layer
  • Quickblox

A Bit of Background:
A white label and fully customizable communication platform that offers almost all types of conversations rich messaging, offline conversations, audio/video calls are yet to be perceived widely. There’s only a handful player globally with QuickBlox starting in 2011 followed by Sendbird and Layer in 2013 and then Applozic in 2015.

Every organization has tried it to position itself as a complete messaging solution provider. Applozic presents itself as, “Chat & In-App Messaging for Mobile and Web apps”, Sendbird as “Messaging and Chat API for Mobile Apps and Websites”, Layer as ”The power of messaging for every mobile and web product” and Quickblox as “Cloud Communication Backend API As A Service For Mobile And Web Apps”.

Protocols Used
Though one can’t make out any major difference from their positioning statement but the protocol chosen by each one of them clearly highlights how Applozic has an edge over others. Applozic employs MQTT protocol, the standard for real-time communication, and is also used by Google and Facebook. In fact, all Internet of Things (IoT) devices are using this protocol due to its ability to exchange data faster as it creates several endpoints for data exchange.

On the other hand, Sendbird uses WebSockets, which is mainly developed for web applications as it is server based and can send a message to specific clients/group of clients and the concept of Publisher and Subscriber which MQTT uses, is absent.

Layer uses Push protocol which is a simple protocol to deliver real-time events. Quickblox uses XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), a communications protocol which requires more space for encryption and storage, is not lightweight like MQTT and has more overheads.

Cross Application Support
Today, we see different applications for different types of users, Uber has one app for riders and other for drivers. With a rise in mobile penetration, every application being developed has its own niche category.

Developers are finding parameters to find a common linkage for applications lying in the same umbrella. Applozic offers a unique capability which allows users on different apps to connect seamlessly on the same communication channel. One of the Applozic customers, CarTrade has separate apps for car buyers and sellers. Applozic’s Chat SDK makes it possible for both parties to chat with each other from their respective app. This feature is yet to be rolled out by any of its alternatives like Sendbird, Layer, and Quickblox.

Rich Messaging
Today, users no longer use messages for exchanging only text. Rich messaging, thus allows users to share audio, video, images, contacts and location. Applozic, Sendbird and Layer support exchange of smart messages. It supports passing additional data as a key-value pair. Quickblox is yet to offer this ability in its platform.

Broadcast Messaging and Push Notifications
Message Broadcasting and Push Notifications has been doing the rounds for quite some time as an effective engagement tool.
Message Broadcasting helps businesses to leverage the immediacy of text messaging with the effectiveness of One-to-One Conversation. Applozic, Sendbird, and Layer provide Message Broadcasting feature, while QuickBlox doesn’t.

Push Notifications is used to engage users for cross or up-selling and re-ordering. All providers allow admin to setup push notification for its users.
The major advantage here is sending Broadcast Messages and Push Notifications with Applozic is relatively easy, can be done directly from the Admin Dashboard and the best part it requires no technical know-how. Also, it supports third-party push service if you use any already.

Data Export
Data is the new oil of the digital economy and hence it is must for organizations to ensure data backup. With data export option all your chat will be safe and you can extract it at any point of time. Sendbird, Quickblox, and Layer allow data export option only for enterprise customers in either JSON (Layer) or XML (Quickblox) format. With Applozic this feature is available for all kinds of subscribers and with multiple options like direct excel/CSV export from the dashboard, APIs for bulk export and Webhook support for real-time data delivery to your servers.

Dashboard features
Applozic provides the most advanced dashboard with modern UI and analytics. It is designed to help strategist in meeting the business goals. Sendbird and Layer provides a modern UI but with only basic features. Quickblox allows users to customize their dashboard but with a classic UI.

Pricing Plans

plans-updated

 

Please note: Applozic offers a custom price for start-ups as per their business goals and financial capabilities.

Know more about user features each solution master offers in our next post.

Author