Ordering products directly from messenger apps is the next big digital retail trend, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has predicted.
Mendelsohn said the growth of mobile is the “most important consumer trend of our lifetime”, and retailers need to take advantage of the popularity of messenger apps that have surfaced as a result of the increasing use of mobile.
“There has been an explosion of messaging apps – 800 million people worldwide use Facebook messenger and 1 billion people use [Facebook-owned] WhatsApp,” she added.
“Six out of the top 10 apps in the world are messenger apps and it will not be long until brands are integrated into that space.”
Mendelsohn predicted that shoppers would be able to contact retailers and brands directly through messenger, and order products on the thread rather than logging into a website.
Customers would be able to order, for example, a top from a previous purchase in another colour without “checking out”, as all their information would be stored by the retailer.
“It is instant communication and a different type of commerce. It allows shoppers to shop whenever they like,” said Mendelsohn, speaking at Retail Week Live.
“Any business in any industry needs to start with mobile. The shift [to mobile] has already happened, it is past tense. The influence of mobile on retail is exploding.”