Group Chat Trends

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Interesting insights from Andreessen Horowitz around the rise of Group Chats as a path to transactions.

The article predominantly covers WeChat trends in China, but is applicable to many messenger apps including WhatsApp and FB Messenger, albeit with some privacy differences.

In a nutshell, the Group Chat approach involves dedicated ‘concierge’ admins who help members with questions. Often on a path to purchase.

A few key insights:

  • groups are often small: 500 people max, and usually less than 200
  • are often invite only (ie no public way of finding them)
  • or are otherwise word of mouth (they aren’t promoted)
  • they prioritise safety (often members are private, using aliases instead of real names/phone numbers, etc)
  • history of messages is only available from the point of joining ie a new member can’t see the history of previous questions
  • the groups grow relationships and trust
  • product recommendations are highly likely to be followed
  • products are added in the chats, with a link to purchase
  • the groups also allow group buying options which result in cheaper per item prices based on increasing group purchase quantity
  • the focus is on personal service, and not on technology to automate the chats

This is interesting from a number of points, and highlights that technology is still lagging in terms of delivering automated chat experiences. It is clear that embracing a conversational commerce approach requires more personal resources. Using automated technology actually destroys trust and value (at least currently).

All the bigger brands I interact with via chat, are definitely people driven (as opposed to chat bot). This requires significant resource, and is a factor to be weighed carefully when potentially adding to your marketing strategy.

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About Craig

I'm the co-host of HubShots and the CEO of XEN - helping mid-large B2B companies with their digital marketing and lead generation.

Craig Bailey

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