'HM po?': Facebook says consumers shifting to Messenger, chat apps

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2018 03:39 PM

MANILA -- Facebook on Friday urged businesses to connect with customers through its Messenger platform, as more purchases are decided in chat boxes.

Citing a Sentient Decision Science survey it commissioned in June, Facebook said messaging is used by 81 percent of consumers to ask about a product, 74 percent to make a purchase, 76 percent to ask for product support and 79 percent to give feedback.

Around 65 percent will use messaging platform to connect to a business more than any other channel, Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio told reporters, citing a commissioned Nielsen survey in 14 markets worldwide. 

"If someone put 'HM po?' consumers want to start that conversation with you at that point in time. If you’re waiting for an email for 3 hours you’ve probably lost that sale,” he said.

"The market’s changed because consumer behavior has changed and that is changing how consumers interact with businesses and if businesses don’t get on it, I won’t be surprised they get disrupted by people and businesses that do," he said.

On Facebook Messenger alone, over 10 billion messages were exchanged between consumers and businesses every month, according to Facebook's global data based on interactions as of September 2018. 

Consumers use Facebook's messaging tools such as Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct Message to reach out to businesses, Rubio said. 

Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio. ABS-CBN News

Messaging has become "an equalizer" because it is available both to big companies and startups that operate out of a garage, Rubio said. 

"With messaging, we see an opportunity to connect more meaningfully with things that people are passionate about. What we've seen is that messaging shortens the distance between people and what they want," he added. 

"Businesses need to realize people are headed here. The ones that migrate quickly win," he said.