Apple will change business communications by introducing privacy-focused features into its new operating systems this year.
Apple will reshape its business communications when it launches new operating systems this fall, forcing a number of industry changes, especially in email marketing.
The pandemic is pushing for digital
Whether you run a large, front-line business or a smaller family store, you can’t ignore how much the pandemic has led to remote communications. This has stimulated delivery services, online sales and online customer communication.
Mailing lists have become very important, as have messaging applications. Zendesk Snapshot claims that the pandemic caused US smartphone users to spend 20% more time on messaging applications than before.
When it comes to Apple, it’s important not only to keep in mind that iPhone users tend to spend more than those on other platforms, but they tend to be more involved in existing communications systems. For all companies it is important that an amazing 90.5% of all mobile emails are opened on an iPhone.
The cost of privacy
This is also the next point of pain for many companies, as Apple will soon introduce new features that will help users stay confidential, but will also add new challenges to online communications with customers.
These changes will not only remove the open pixel support that many marketing systems (including accessible systems like Mailchimp) use to monitor opening rates, but will also provide consumers with an efficient way to generate unique emails. and unique.
These changes have sparked a wave of protests, but most companies should look for the opportunity. After all, once customers feel private and protected, they are more likely to receive emails from their favorite brands, even (or maybe especially) from smaller companies. Although the ease with which consumers can unsubscribe is a risk, the challenge for most brands will be to create genuine communications.
Also, of course, the most important value, the clickthrough rate, will still be visible in the traffic logs. We all know that a six million markommomm list means very little if you can’t get people on that list to click on the links in the email. Clicks are probably a better chance of converting customers than opening rates.
Small businesses that want to build digital communications with customers will need to focus on their customers, contact to build relationships, and work to invest real value in the emails they send.
That hasn’t changed much. It’s just that creativity is becoming more critical than ever.
What about Apple Business Chat?
The focus on digital communications in the new age of remote work extends to messaging. Therefore, Apple Business Chat should become another pillar in terms of building and maintaining customer involvement. Launched in 2018, it allows people to request information and schedule appointments using Messages on their Apple device. (Canadian operator Rogers recently enabled Business Chat support.)
The operator joins a growing list of big names to provide the service, including Vauxhall, Zendesk, First Direct, BestBuy and American Express. I support it, because Messages represents 25% of the global messaging market and even more of the profitable US market.
The mantra «know where customers are» continues. As Jonathan Evans, Vauxhall Motors’ director of e-commerce and digital experience, said: “Many of our customers prefer to use iOS and we always want to exceed their expectations when connecting with us. Apple Business Chat makes communicating with Vauxhall as easy as texting a friend. «
This ease of contact should become a new point of contact for customer communications. It makes sense to consider introducing support, in part, because this reflects the importance of Apple customer demographics for many companies.
Small businesses have the hardest challenge
The problem is that this is not an equal world. Smaller companies seem to be at a disadvantage when trying to use Business Chat.
In part, this is because Apple insists that vendors offer a mix of robots and human agents. This is an opportunity for companies such as CM.com, Freshchat, Conversocial and others that offer access to this type of infrastructure to smaller companies for a fee. The problem is that these taxes may be higher than some small businesses can afford, especially small retailers fighting the pandemic.
This means that small retailers will be most hurt by Apple’s decision to change the way email works on its platforms. In many cases, because these companies can manage smaller lists, which include local and repeat customers, it can be helpful to focus on local relationships (including local search SEO) and partnerships with key local groups. Certainly, this is how most of these companies already work.
Of course, it is important that all companies continue to explore ways to invest in distance communication channels, because when (and if) things return to «normal», the trend towards social distancing is likely to continue.
Many have felt quite comfortable with online interactions, in part because they reduce travel time and allow consumers to get in touch when it makes sense to them. However, these changes have accelerated the evolution of business communications, exacerbating the need for creative ways to build close relationships with local customers that you may never see again.