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How Facebook Messenger Helps Consumers Shop Online and Not Wait On Line This Holiday

This article was updated on May 17, 2023

The global pandemic and quarantine culture has consumers thirsting to connect and engage in new ways. Society is seeking connection with their peers via social chat apps more than ever, and the “new normals” have opened a stronger position for their favorite brands to engage with them via social and mobile applications.

Mobile device with festive holiday decorations and gifts

“Panic buying” has become a household phrase and grocery and food delivery orders have soared as availability and convenience become more and more critical to consumers’ purchasing decisions.  In fact, U.S. online grocery sales set a record in June with 45.6 million U.S. consumers grocery shopping online and $7.2 billion in sales.

Today, we find ourselves moving quickly into the holiday season, in which shoppers will be more inclined to fill their virtual shopping carts than leave the house to brave the long socially-distanced shopping lines.  Here in the United States,  customers are progressively turning to social chat apps like Facebook Messenger for a more simple and convenient  shopping experience.  In fact, according to our recent survey of 5,000 consumers, 23 percent more shoppers said they were using messaging apps as their preferred way to engage with a business since the pandemic, with 20 percent citing Facebook Messenger as their favorite messaging app. 


To date, there are 1.3 billion monthly Facebook Messenger users on the planet and the popular messaging app is expected to boast an impressive 3.1 billion users worldwide by 2021, according to Statista.  This trend is no surprise with the steady growth of developing digital markets and smartphone culture, along with the unshakeable hold that social apps still have as one of the most popular ways to connect.

In 2019, Facebook shared that 20 billion messages were being exchanged between businesses and users each month on their Messenger app, according to Messenger Data. But since the global pandemic arrived earlier this year,  we’ve seen consumers staying home more and being pushed to find new ways to connect in almost every schema of daily life.   Along with that, their use of social chat apps has spiked to record highs.  In fact, Facebook announced  that their messaging totals have ballooned by more than 50 percent, especially in countries hardest hit by the virus.

Global brands from all industries are among many that are using Facebook Messenger to engage their customers better and boost their sales.

For e-commerce and retail organizations, Facebook Messenger and social chat apps have become a priority strategy to attract new customers and drive loyalty:

  • Acknowledge your customer’s preferences - Improve engagement with customers who prefer real-time chat to phone calls or video.

  • Keep the conversation going - Streamline responses to basic digital shopping questions with virtual assistants.

  • Create rich, branded experiences for your customers - Engage in contextual and media-rich conversations using images, audio, video, and location-based insights. This means you can provide your customers with a more personalized shopping experience.

  • Decrease cart abandonment - Address shopper concerns in real time to make checkout quick and easy.

  • Participate in your customer’s world - Enhance your presence on the social platforms most important to your customers.

  • Anticipate shopper intent - Analyze shopper behavior and identify trends to solve issues before they arise.

  • Efficient onboarding - Validate real consumer credentials with intent-driven verification and authentication using Messenger.

Getting Started is Simple

Link your Facebook Messenger account to the Vonage API in a few easy steps or start testing messages via our Vonage Messages API Sandbox by signing up at no cost  here.  We also have helpful information on our Facebook Messenger API for you on our developer documentation.

Whatever you’re building, we're giving you a reason to like working with us!  You can join our Vonage Developer Slack Community where our developers and experts come together to share tips, learn, and brainstorm on how to get the best out of our API technology.


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