rich messaging

Rich Messaging with Interactive Buttons: Convenience that your customers will love

We’ve talked about innovations in mobile messaging in this blog before, and have also covered case studies illustrating its benefits. Today, I would cover another messaging technology that will help you craft delightful customer experiences, to increase customer engagement and reap higher revenues.

This feature, which we call Interactive Messaging at Applozic, allows the exchange of multimedia messages (images, videos etc.) in the form of rich cards with embedded action buttons.

Rich Message CardInteractive rich messages offers some major benefits to businesses and customers alike.

  • It gives your app users the convenience to seek requisite information and interact directly with it, via a conversational interface.
  • At the same time for any campaigns that you might be running, interactive messages gives it greater nuance and increases the likelihood of generating a desirable response.

For the scope of this article, we have covered the top 6 use cases of interactive messaging, encapsulating the benefit of each one, alongside it

Booking Cards:

This type of rich messaging is of relevance to travel concierge marketplaces. Typically an user visiting one of these travel websites, enquires about an airline or a hotel. Subsequently interactive booking cards are sent his way to capture his preferences, based on which the itinerary in prepared.
As demonstrated in the images below, these interactive booking cards have action buttons for various parameters, like the no. of rooms, type of hotel etc. The user just needs to feed in his preferences and the system in return generates personalised results.Rich Messaging for TravelInstead of browsing a website, this interaction mirrors a typical retail point of sale moment where one receives personalised service based on their unique requirements.

Transaction Cards:

Offering advice over chat makes it easier for your customers to make a purchase. Transaction Cards allows you to do just that. These are rich messages, that displays the product details along with a customisable CTA button (Buy Now, Add to Cart etc..). These messages can be tailored based on the buyer’s interests thus adding a layer of personalisation to your customer communication.
Shopping then becomes extremely convenient for users, as they now have a personal assistant at their disposal, at all times. The results are frictionless transactions, resulting in expedited sales and increased order value. It can be used both for making new orders and order modifications, thus providing a flexible solution for both sales and support

>> Kommunicate is a smart messaging software which brings Sales and Support together, with Bot+Human Hybrid Architecture.

Information Cards:

These cards can be used to display detailed product information, both pre-purchase for the buyer’s consideration and also post purchase for sharing transaction/booking info.  

Rich Messaging

The purpose of these messages is to go that extra mile in delighting your customers. These are beneficial for the customer’s overall experience as they now have the details of every transaction at their fingertips.

Rich Messaging for live tracking

Payment Cards:

These rich messaging cards provide an easy and convenient way to send and receive money via chat. The use case is of significant relevance for P2P money lending and fintech applications.

The lendee sends an interactive message seeking money from a lender, which the latter can accept or reject. The lender on the other hand asks the lendee to return the money, again following the same process.
Interactive Rich Messaging for P2P Payment
The process is frictionless, fast and engaging compared to other methods.

Lead Collection Forms:

Your sales team is made up of humans and that’s a good thing, but sadly humans can’t work 24X7. That means a missed opportunity on capturing a lead.

Chatbots can plug this gap by engaging users with welcome messages, answering simple questions and eventually collecting lead information (Email Id, Name etc..). This they can do with Lead Collection Forms, which essentially are rich interactive messages having form fields for the prospect to fill in their contact details.

Rich Text Messaging as Lead Collection forms

>> Download the Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chatbots for a step-by-step walkthrough in bot building.

Polls and Surveys

Every well run business needs to understand how it is doing and how it is perceived by its customers. Telephone calls, which is typically used for the purpose can come across as overly intrusive.

Interactive message cards with survey scales on the other hand, is non-obtrusive and engaging as they are triggered at the opportune moment when the customer is interacting with your app.

Similarly you can also design polls to conduct market research in order to understand customer perceptions.

Rich Messaging for SurveysThe result? Increased rate of response giving you that all-important feedback.

Thanks to the rising comfort levels with virtual assistants and chatbots as well as advances in technology, messaging apps are presenting new sales platforms. As more smartphone users continue to choose texting over talking (at least to their fellow humans), more and more products are being created that allow users to interact with their devices.

The mobile first cohort which essentially is today’s Gen Z, are comfortable with in-app messaging to make payments, hail a ride or even apply for a mortgage. As the paradigm shift in customer preferences continues from using websites to messaging apps and connected devices, interactive messaging that makes transactions convenient will be the torch-bearer.


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Firebase and Applozic: A Must Have For All Mobile Developers

Mobile Apps has touched the lives of billions across the globe in multiple ways.It has redefined habits and solved a number of day to day problems. Experts around the globe have considered 2017 a successful year for mobile app growth and penetration. A recent study has revealed that 57% of consumers time using digital media was spent on apps in 2017. Decision makers around the world have accepted the data and now are actively evaluating ways to cater this changing consumer behavior. Mobile apps are now part of every strategy meeting as it is been seen as an important medium to grow business and engage users.

On the other hand, developer communities also had a good run last year as the technologies which have made their life easier have matured. Developers are no longer expected to take up the cumbersome tasks of developing things from the scratch and are generally required to improvise on the existing resources and make the required tweaks to achieve an app’s overall objective.Tools like Firebase have become a one-stop solution platform for building better mobile apps and growing business faster.

Firebase which has evolved from Envolve, a startup started by James Tamplin and Andrew Lee in 2011 which offered an API to enable the integration of online chat functionality in web apps. However, within years of their service, they noticed that the APIs were being used to pass application data that weren’t actually a chat message. This triggered them to start working on a real-time architecture that could power this need and thus Firebase was born. Today, it has evolved as a holistic tool for developing and deploying mobile apps faster and scale them as per requirement. Some of the tools which are being extensively used include

  • Real-time Database
  • Crashlytics
  • Cloud Firestore
  • Testlab  

All these products aim to make the development process smoother and agile. Some of the interesting use cases with Firebase revolves around creating a great onboarding flow.
Sami Ben Hassine, of The Fabulous, says,” We saw twice the retention rate among users with customized onboarding flow than among regular users. And it took us just one day to implement the customized onboarding screens.”
Firebase is also known for customizing welcome back screens and helping marketers/ developers to understand user behavior easily. It has a number of features like which allows marketers to have dynamic content and later launch it with minimal risks. One can also add the basic functionality of chat as an added feature. Firebase thus attempts to simplify the development and optimization process for developers.

However, the bigger question is Firebase enough for you to get started in terms of chat and enabling this important feature on your application.  
Let me help you understand this better. We have a number of APIs that are capable of doing a lot of things together but we always focus on using specialists like Stripe for Payments, Google Maps for locations, Applozic for chats. Because they are capable of inventing, re-inventing the technology they are born for. Objective specific APIs have become the order of the day for dynamic growth and continuous evolution.

One such super specialist in the field of Chat as a Service is Applozic. Born in 2015 to help developers, product managers add reliable and scalable chat service to their applications. It is founded by Devashish Mamgain and Adarsh Kumar after their successful venture of MobiTexter. During their first venture of enabling SMS texting from a computer using the mobile number, they felt a need to create an easy medium for integrating chat in applications. They identified that majority of users found messaging as the easiest form of communication with peers. Thus Applozic was born which enables developers to have the integration with zero server-side code to enable chat as a feature in application faster.You can add the feature of media sharing, contact sharing with minimal efforts.It has now evolved as end-to-end communication platform capable of meeting all kind of business requirements. On the other hand, non-specialists tools require you to mess with the node scripts and undergo a number of tiring steps before enabling these must-have features. A number of developers get stuck during this phase which eats up their precious time leading to increased time to go live.
Some of the interesting use cases about Applozic revolves around how it has simplified the process of having chat enabled on applications. Puneet Kukreja, from, says,”Building a robust, intuitive and feature loaded and a dedicated team to support comprehensive messaging system would have taken few months. The team at Applozic made integration a breeze and with their messaging platform, we were able to build something quickly that serves our millions of users; it works great and looks great too.”

It also has a number of use cases around marketplaces where people used the feature of tripartite chat, shopping assistants to ensure a better experience for their customers and sellers. On-demand services are also using chat services to provide the personalized experience and provide contextual support by using features like bot integration, broadcasting of smart messages and real-time status updates.

Thus, it is important to have specialists for each and every kind of initiative you undertake and use cases around these products have reinstated this inference. We should look at these tools for revolutionizing the experience of users and help the developers’ community build and modify products faster. In case, you are still stuck let us know and we can discuss. Hit us a hi now!

Applozic vs Hyphenate: Which Chat SDK should you choose for In-app Chat?

The messaging app era is here. This isn’t something I am telling out of intuition, but there are a number of statistics and major trends to testify it.

For instance all the hype around Chatbots and its widespread adoption for different purposes across various industries. This goes out to point out a paradigm shift, that one day most business transactions can happen without human intervention, within messenger apps.

Chatbots and Messaging apps: The next Big Thing in E-commerce >>

Another startling fact is that the Top 4 Messaging apps have caught up to the Top 4 Social Networks in user numbers and now dominate mobile. This shows mobile user’s affinity towards messaging, which is not surprising considering the fact the messaging is the native UX of mobile.

Mobile app businesses as a result are quick to jump on the bandwagon, to add a messaging interface to their applications. This is to give users that extra bit of convenience to stay connected with fellow users and the service provider. The perks here are connectivity builds a sense of belongingness which builds engagement. It also allows service providers to deliver quick and concise answers to customer queries thus improving customer support.

Now building Chat and Messaging from ground up is like re-inventing the wheel, while you can simply get it custom made for your specific needs from 3rd party Chat SDK providers. That way you can focus on your own awesome product and leave the messaging part to those who do it best.

In this post I will cover two such SDKs – Hyphenate and Applozic and highlight the feature set of each to help you choose the right one for your needs.

Protocols Used:
Applozic uses MQTT protocol while Hyphenate uses its own patented MSYNC protocol. Being a patented protocol we are unaware of the intricacies of it. MQTT on the other hand is the standard for real-time communication and is used by the likes of Facebook Messenger and Google. Infact, 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. At the same time, it is lightweight so it minimises battery consumption.

Rich Messaging:
Both Applozic and Hyphenate supports Rich Messaging. While Applozic calls this feature Smart Messaging, Hyphenate calls it Command Messages. The feature allows exchange of actionable messages, that sends instructions from the app server to the client to perform specific functions, which can be anything from selling products to sending polls.

Documentation link to configuring Smart Messages on Applozic framework >>

Platforms Supported:

Message Broadcasting:
The feature allows you to send one-to-one messages to a group of users at one go. The perfect analogy is SMS or In-app Messages via which companies send out messages of different types (promotional, informative etc.) to their users. The only difference being unlike the latter, the former is two-way and can incite a reply from the recipient. This feature is unique to Applozic and is not supported by Hyphenate.

Read “Why Message Broadcasting is a cheaper and more efficient alternative to SMS” >>

Documentation link to configuring Message Broadcasting on Applozic framework >>

1-1, Group Chat & Audio/Video Calling:
These basic features are supported by both Hyphenate and Applozic on all available platforms.

SMS/Email Fallback:
Another unique feature supported only by Applozic, that also demonstrates our immense customer focus. With SMS/Email fallback we have you covered in cases of grainy internet connections. Whenever a message fails to get delivered a fallback can be triggered that delivers the very same message as and SMS or Email to the recipient’s device.

Documentation link to configuring SMS/Email fallback on Applozic >>

Chat History:
We at Applozic understand that data is the new oil and therefore offer lifetime data retention, unlike Hyphenate where retention duration is at max. of 6 months on their premium plan.

Data Export:
We also have multiple options for Data export, like direct export as excel/csv from dashboard, APIs for bulk export and Webhook support for real time data delivery to your servers. Hyphenate on the other hand has only webhooks for this.

If you are looking to integrate chat in your product we have some guidelines which we have put down in our Messaging Best Practices Guide.

In case you are looking for clarifications into any of the above discussed pointers or should you have any queries, just drop a comment below and we will respond to that.