Delight users with real-time chat in your marketplaces app

“Buy the best and you’ll cry only once”

Meet Sam, who loves to shop online due to a quality guarantee and deals on offer. However, for the last few months, he is not loving it anymore. Shopping online is not saving those extra bucks that it used to do. So we sat with him to understand what has changed. So here is the outcome of the discussion
– The products he wants to purchase now have a high demand
– He is missing offer timings due to his strict schedule and limited period offers.

Is this your story or of your customers too?

Imagine, you are the marketplace owner where Sam goes for shopping. So, instead of giving Sam a generic experience, you decide to give him a personalized one. You focus on retaining users like Sam and nurture these important relationships to generate the missed out revenue.

But how can you do so? Won’t be it too complex? No, it won’t be. It can be made simple – Integrate real-time chat options which can provide deals to select visitors and also help them connect with you/your seller in seconds.

A number of websites today offer the option “ to chat with a live sales representative” which sometimes comes up as a pop-up while the user is browsing, making it annoying for users and resulting in high closure rates.

This is a great idea to engage and know what your users are doing to offer them exclusive deals over the chat window. But with annoying pop-ups, this is irritating users. So, have a real-time chat window integrated for live shopping deals.
Here are some interesting hacks which your users might follow as well to get a good deal from on your marketplaces-  

Meanwhile, you can do the following

  • Offer Dynamic pricing
    A unique strategy which will allow sellers to offer different prices to different customers on the basis of demand, user behavior, and market factors. This will allow sellers to understand user profiling and created customized strategies for each persona going forward
  • Extend Coupons/Offers
    If you find that the user has reached out to you with expired coupons, you can always extend it as an offer of good gesture. This will add that “human touch” which is often missing in the online buying journey.
  • Upsell/Cross Sell
    All of the e-commerce websites have an inbuilt section “Frequently Bought Together”, however, users hardly trust it. In fact, 74% of online shops struggle in personalizing real-time offers which are now must for selling more products to the user. This is only possible if we integrate real-time chat and invite users to discover deals by having a conversation as we have in offline stores.

 Your buyers can also enjoy

  • Unique Deals and Variants on Offer
    Let them speak to your sellers and get a deal which may not be on offer. It can also be customized to meet their needs in real time. It’s all about bringing that connect between a buyer and a seller. Your buyers can also know about other product variants which are on available. They also get a personalized offer or use an expired deal.
  • Social Commerce
    None of us prefer to shop alone but we have this lonely experience when we are shopping online. Imagine having the same offline experience where you are shopping during the online shopping carnival and you have your peers with you. With real-time chat options, you involve them and have that useful conversation.
  • Guided Shopping
    We all love assistance while shopping as it simplifies the pain to discover and look around. With real-time chat options, marketplace owners can have a representative who can guide the buyers. You can also have a tripartite chat window in order to keep a check on quality and maintain uniformity across the board.

We know that the world is all about real-time/on-the-go today and customer experience, marketing is also following the same suite. Users are no longer interested to wait and wait for stuff to happen. They want things to be instant which simplifies their journey.
A recent study by Adobe found the following inferences about real-time solutions. This study was done in collaboration with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) on 235 North American marketers.

  • 60% highlighted they struggle to personalize content in real-time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial.
  • Most agree that real-time marketing is “dynamic personalized content across channels” (43%)
  • Real-time Cross-Channel engagement (75%) and Web (69%) are very important, but most are still in planning stages.
  • Real-time Email is the highest rated channel- 80% find it very important, and over half are already leveraging it.
  • Real-time Mobile and Social lag behind Email, Web, and Cross-Channel for marketers.
  • Two-thirds of respondents are planning for real-time technologies.
  • More than 60% see the benefits of marketing effectiveness, customer experience, and retention.

So, we understand that real-time options are the way to go but none of us are actually creating that experience for our users. But why so? Is it the fear to create processes and digital assets from scratch, if that’s the case then you need to look around and discover readily to use plugin available to initiate your real-time experience. Have people chatting, know what they are focusing on and generate those insights which will draft your road map further. It’s that simple :). So, make your first move towards a faster, spontaneous and effective user journey today. If you struggle we will get some great guides for you today.  


What, why and how of building a messaging app like WhatsApp

From being a sensational new tool for real-time chatting, today, WhatsApp has become an essential communication tool, even surpassing emails. What made it a sure shot success? Well, because it was introduced to address a grass root trait that humans have always obsessed over. Communication!

People love talking to each other.

SMS texting, social media messages, personal chats, and calls have always been highly sought after. WhatsApp simply gave new and efficient means for personal messaging to people, and it was accepted in daily lives in no time.

Monthly active users of various apps

(Source)

As the chart shows, millions of people are used to communicate via mobile apps. Their unparalleled popularity is a sheer indicator that communication industry is transforming and in-app messaging is taking it towards future.

Easy availability of mobile internet and smartphones has spiked up mobile app usage. Clearly, this opens up a new avenue for businesses to approach and engage with their users like never before. That being so, we have written this article to shed more light on how you can leverage your business by means of a mobile app with WhatsApp like conversation features.

So fellas, buckle up and get to work!

Essential features that make your app more influential

Messenger App features

Basically, a WhatsApp like app for business allows people to interact with their contacts, social connections or business networks synced in the app. For such app to remain in demand continually, it must have the features highly solicited by users worldwide. These features constitute the core of the app and attract new users to associate with you. Accordingly, here is a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves features your app should’ve.

User profiling

Upon entering the app, the user must sign into it. Users’ phone number can be a unique parameter to create distinct users in the app. Besides, with the mobile number, the security verification using SMS becomes instant and faster. Furthermore, a user should be able to create his own profile with details and media of his choice to aptly express his persona.

Syncing contacts

Basically, your messaging apps should conveniently facilitate the user with contacts he can communicate to. It can be contacts stored in phone, social media connections or list of people he needs to interact within your business network. In accordance with your objective of building the app, you can make the app fetch such contacts from various sources.  

 Enabling real-time messaging, the essence of building messaging apps

Needless to say, the app should connect the user with contact synced with the app. It must deliver the messages or the media attachments promptly to another person. Evidently, the technologies you use in app development must ensure dexterous one-to-one chat as well as group conversations in real time.

Voice and Video calling

Skype paved the path of VoIP calling across countries right from the app. Today, this is exceedingly used in all messaging apps. Be it FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, or Skype, the calling feature makes them further interactive. Hence, you should give the user the liberty to decide whether to use audio, video call or simply text to communicate.

Multimedia attachment transfer

Every day, chat apps circulate millions of videos and billions of images, in addition to documents and GIFs and more supported formats. That is, the user would prefer to be able to send and receive documents while chatting without having to leave the app.

Notifications

Notifications are an efficient way to alert the users that the app has something inside that they should have a look at. Using Firebase Cloud Messaging by Google (FCM) and Apple Push Notifications would make implementing in-app alerts easier. You can even allow the user to customize how they wish to receive notifications.

  • Geo-location sharing
  • App scalability
  • Quick search within conversations
  • Message broadcasting
  • Integration with social platforms
  • Status indicators
  • Calendar sync
  • Self-destructive messages
  • Subscriptions and in-app purchases
  • Cross-platform app operability
  • Chatbot integration

The list can keep growing further. However, you must enlist the top features that are indispensable for you to attract users. You can launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that is an app with only essential features, and later keep updating the app while adding new features based on the user feedback. Please note that each feature development consumes a big deal in terms of time and efforts.  Here is a suggestion, try using open-source messaging libraries and speed up development while incurring a lesser cost.   

For a programmer’s curiosity: What does it take to develop a messenger app

Before everything else, you need the industry research observations and app architecture on paper. Here is the plan you can follow if you want,

  • Enlist your requirements. What do you want the app to do?
  • Observe industry standard, best practices, and current trends.
  • How does your competitor’s app look?
  • Lay down the app architecture that describes how the app components would interact, layers in the app, data caching, data flow and accessibility, development environment, supported devices, resolution, and hardware connectivity,
  • Here is where you visualize worst-case scenarios that might need to operate in such an intermittent network,
  • Envisage the future of the app in the marketplace
  • Then, design and examine a prototype before beginning with development.

Finally, this is how you go about developing the app for real. 

App development flowchart

  • Database Framework or cloud media storages would build the foundation to raise the app on.
  • Application server for real time messaging and calling, such as XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) or  MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport)
  • Then, you would need a Rest API to communicate data to and from the app.
  • In the end, Firebase Cloud Messaging shall keep you covered for the app notification part.

Voila! You are pretty much done with the backend construction. Next is, developing the app for different platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry. Take a good look at your target audience and the platforms they prefer to use. Without a doubt, iOS and Android platforms would suffice to address the majority of your users.

Evidently, native development is an uphill battle of building Messaging APIs, Chat SDK, libraries, Google and Apple cloud services for Android and iOS platforms and the whole lot. Your programmer would be certainly well versed with how to go about the native app development.

Design!

You must design the appearance of the app very carefully and creatively. Undeniably, the ‘look and feel’ do the hard-hitting piece of work and keep the users engaged with your app while enticing them to return to the app again. While designing you must focus on sentimental usage aspects, such as:

  • App logo: The users see the app icon before they can experience how beautiful your app is. Thus, it is as pivotal as the UI. Icons duly influence the users’ decision of whether or not download the app. Hence, make sure that your logo communicates your brand identity efficiently.
  • App color and theme: choose them wisely. Because, color psychology works indeed. Just so you know, monochrome colors remain in always. Ever wondered why Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, WhatsApp and more app giants exude blue and green hues? Well, give it a thought.
  • Easy navigation. Not to be forgotten that you must handle navigation deftly both at front and back end. Distribute the features and buttons on app screen such that everything comes handy to users. Try to understand whether your customers would want a single window navigation, stacked navigation bar, search driven or gesture based navigation. Take extra care of those most frequently used features. The user friendliness is a trump card that can make your app a hit or a miss.

When you have a decently working version of the app ready, begin testing. Alpha testing, beta testing, keep on testing. It is very crucial. Run all the possible test case scenarios to ensure that you have built an all-weather robust app.  

How would this chat app accelerate your business?

First off, keep in mind that you are building an app for a special business niche for your clients and prospects of the local area as well as worldwide and not any general-purpose texting application.

Businesses can deploy a messaging app for a range of utilities and can reap wholesome rewards for the same, such as;

  • Well, you get to attract more users, more of those who prefer everything done on the go, and to communicate with those who are already using the app.
  • The app even fosters the relationship between users and service providers, thereby churn reduces and more users engage with business. Thus, cross sell and upsell potential increases.
  • Your business can provide better customer support. Through the app, you are accessible 24/7, users can easily submit their queries.
  • You can establish a direct communication and feedback channel directly with the end user.
  • Increases conversion rate as well as customer satisfaction.

See, you can taste a bunch of amazing benefits when you decide to serve and connect with the end user through a mobile app with a built in chatting feature inside.

Time and resources: What does the development cost you?

Seemingly, you have made up your mind to develop all that we discussed about so far. An interactive business app will present you with a channel to acquire more customers and monetize in addition to the perks mentioned above.

So to speak, building such a messenger app would cost you a big sum in terms of time, energy and money. If you begin from the scratch and code yourself, approximately you will need more than 6 months of full time work.

In addition, you will need a team of programming rock stars, that include iOS programmer, Android programmer, front end and back end developers, UI and UX designers, Quality Analyst and a learned person to oversee the happenings aka a project manager.  

All in all, it can cost you up to and beyond $25,000 to develop such an app for your business. However, this is a ballpark number, the type and nature of the features in your app more or less influence the cost of development.

How Applozic lends you a helping hand with in-app messaging

Apparently, adding chat feature in mobile app indeed is a tough job. By now you must be wondering whether to do it yourself or outsource it. Here is a detailed answer to your ‘buy it Vs build it’ dilemma. In a nutshell, your engineers should work upon what they are good at, i.e. developing your business, and leave the ‘in-app messaging’ to experts like Applozic.

To put it briefly, at Applozic we offer best in class chat API & In-App Messaging SDK that you can use to integrate messaging in web or your mobile app. The comprehensive toolkit

  • Saves you huge development cost
  • Gives rich cross platform and multi device conversational interface
  • Make your web and mobile apps more interactive
  • Seamlessly integrates in your product

Thus, with plenty of more intuitive features, Applozic looks after your in-app chat essentials, while allowing you to concentrate on your business. Connect us to know more.

Bringing it all together

Building a messaging app that brings your business a desired output, is a lot more than just programming and launching the app. The whole lot involves post release support, maintenance, timely upgrades, integration with enterprise systems and much more. Therefore, your decision of building or buying in-app chat features has many repercussions that you can imagine. Take all the time you need to make this decision of great magnitude.

In the end, this is how one can go about developing a WhatApp like messaging app from the very scratch. Do remember that even if Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are dominating the in-app communication industry, there is still room for an intuitive app like yours to accommodate in the marketplace. You must build an app that stands out with its unique value proposition.

Without a doubt, conversational apps are a significant part of the end to end communication for businesses. It is high time you must have a dedicated interactive app for your business.

Carpe diem!


Platforms supported by Applozic

All about using Applozic on your preferred platforms

With myriad of buying channels mushrooming across digital business space, the user has plenty of options that influence his purchase decision in no time. Smartphones and web have affected worldwide business space tremendously. This very fact is the reason why businesses have turned their eyes towards directly reaching the end user, while implementing personalized approach.

There exist multifarious methods of achieving this objective and yield more client acquisitions. The most effective of them all is, interacting with the inquirers as well as existing users in real time, right when they are seeking answers to their questions. In-app communication, in a nutshell! On that account, Applozic was built with the sole agenda of facilitating other contemporary businesses setup interactive chat channels and tools on web as well as mobile platforms.

Consequently, many businesses soliciting our services oftentimes wonder whether or not we support the platform their infrastructure is built on. Therefore, this blog post intends to shed more light on the answer, in addition to exploring further about Applozic’s business efficiency. Keep reading!

Why multi-platform operations are important?

Since users are multi-platform, your business is spread across multiple platforms too. Hence, we as your service providers, have grown to support your communication requirements on the platform your business is built on.

In modern times, it is highly likely that your products or services are available across various platforms. You might already have a website, and have introduced a dedicated mobile app now. You are connecting with users everywhere across the space of internet. Apparently, customer interaction and chatting features have to remain at the core of the online frontier of your business to get an edge over competitors.

Therefore, the messaging platform you use (Applozic, in this case) in your website, must be able to perform identically, without any glitch in the mobile apps too. When Applozic integrated in your product or app supports multiple platforms, you are able to:

  • Incorporate different platforms to leverage your business.
  • Work in an all integrated environment.
  • Seamlessly sync data from different sources to one system.

And the whole lot.

Yes, there are plenty of platforms we support

Surely, we are a high performing cross-platform chat solution. Notably, being able to deliver a consistent chat experience across different platforms is the key factor that makes Applozic widely accepted. While messengers built using Applozic toolkit seamlessly integrate with web apps, we also soundly support your mobile apps built on a variety of platforms. Take a look at these mobile platforms supported by us.

List of mobile platforms supported by Applozic:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cordova
  • PhoneGap
  • Xamarin
  • Ionic
  • React Native
  • NativeScript

The perks of integrating Applozic to your business platform

Studies have shown that over call and email, users choose to chat with businesses to get their inquiries answered, more preferably in real time chat console. You already know how popular messenger apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line are. Then, why should you put a simple chat window to your website, web app or mobile app? Let us answer:

  • To develop business intelligence
  • To add more value to your business with Right Tools of Communication
  • To equip your business platform with instant messaging capabilities
  • To streamline your engineering resources for better customer support

Our remarkably easy to integrate APIs and SDKs allow you to infuse ‘Just right’ communication features to your platform (Oh well, you can always tell us if you want something specific in your mind, we would be more than happy to develop it). At the other end of the integration, what you get is,

  • Increased user engagement
  • Thereby, improved customer satisfaction
  • More number of visitors convert to leads
  • Reduced cost of support
  • Lower churning
  • Increased efficiency

The hybrid messaging solution Applozic is the all-inclusive answer to all your in-app communication requirements.

Features of messaging solution built using Applozic for your business

  • One to one chat
  • Group chat
  • Multilingual chat support: You can text in local language of the users
  • Push notifications that bring users to chat console quickly
  • Message analytics: Time stamped texts, read receipts, message delivery status and more.
  • Ability to record and reconnect with them through SMS and email after they leave the chat
  • Ability to send and receive Attachments of various formats
  • Applozic SDK and open source UI kits allow you to design the appearance of chat console that would seamlessly blend with the look and feel of your website or app.
  • Cross application communication: Even the users from different apps can be connected to a single communication channel.
  • Chat bot support
  • Further integrates with your centralized CRM or ERP software suite

Nevertheless, by integrating your online business with such a messaging platform loaded with all these features, you can build a messaging solution of your own that works wonders for your business. You should definitely know more; want to schedule a demo for your convenient time?

Thus, with the fully managed messaging solution Applozic integrated in your web or mobile platform, we take care of everything for you, so that you can focus on what matters to you the most; your business.

Bringing it all together

Evidently, we have come a long way from using only Windows and OS X. Today, you must expand to and make customized developments for as many platforms as you can find your users on. Whichever platform you branch out to, Applozic is there to back you up as a multi-platform communication solution.

The task of interacting with users and prospects in real time poses as a challenge as well as a huge opportunity for present-day businesses. The ones who get it right, get ahead of their adversaries quickly.

Harness the power of SaaS, deliver an intuitive communication experience to everyone you work with, and take your business to a new level. Applozic is your gateway to plug and play messaging! Try us for free or Chat with us now.