What is RCS or Rich Communication Services?
RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is often seen as the successor of SMS. Since its debut in 1993, SMS remained more or less unchanged for almost a decade. Fast forward to 2009, when WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and many others became mainstream messaging channels. These new channels brought even more flexibility in the way we communicate with each other, offering new rich media features and different formats.
To date, SMS remains the favourite messaging channel, serving billions of users around the world. It is also the most used business messaging channel. One of the reasons, perhaps the biggest reason, for this success is that SMS can be received on every phone. Even devices without a mobile internet connection are capable of receiving SMS messages. This makes its reach vast and reliable.
RCS brings many rich media features of popular messaging channels while offering benefits comparable to SMS. RCS messaging provides you with new ways to engage your audience and delivers your messages directly into the standard messaging channel of the (Android) phone of your customers. Marketing offers, booking appointments, browsing product catalogs, and even making purchases without leaving the native messaging app are well within its reach. A valuable asset for businesses operating in retail and eCommerce.
What are the features of RCS?
And what are these unique benefits that RCS has to offer?
Available in many countries
Registered and verified business profile(s)
Rich media, such as images, gifs, audio, and video
Buttons (with suggested responses)
Product cards or carrousels that showcase your products and redirect to the website in one click
Various options for a call-to-action directly in the channel
Send your customers alluring marketing offers with images or gifs, offer them suggested reply buttons for easy engagement, and show your product catalog all within the native app on their phone. Are they interested in one of your products? Help them pay for it as well within the app.
All RCS features above will help boost customer engagement, and customer engagement will, in turn, boost conversion.
Still not convinced of the value of RCS after the many benefits and features? Then maybe these statistics will charm you.
RCS is anticipated to become the world’s biggest business messaging platform, with more than 2 billion users, accounting for 50% of total smartphone users. -(Mobilesquared)
RCS is growing fast! Over 56 billion messages (A2P RCS Traffic) will be sent in 2023, rising from 126 million in 2018. -(Juniper)
Nearly 80% of consumers find RCS appealing, and 74% say RCS would make them more likely to want to communicate with a brand. -(GSMA)
Retail will be amongst the primary use cases for RCS over the next three years, accounting for over 10 trillion transactions in 2023. -(Juniper)
RCS truly is a big player among the messaging channels, and these numbers prove that it is the next channel you should make a move on to engage your customers.
RCS use cases for retail and eCommerce
There are countless use cases for RCS in retail and eCommerce, but we'll give an example of the most common three use cases below.
Send promotional and marketing messages
RCS is ideal for sending appealing promotional messages to your customers. Show them the newest product launches, inform them of items that are back in stock, and send them personalised offers they'll find hard to refuse.
Hello! The red sneakers are back in stock in your size! Are you still interested?
Send order confirmations and status updates
Let your customers know their (online) orders went smoothly by sending them a confirmation via RCS. You can even send information on their order status, and delivery status to keep them informed. Informed customers will find the customer experience more enjoyable and will consider your service again in the future.
Thank you for your order! Your brand-new dress will be delivered to your doorstep on Friday, the 27th. Please check the track&trace for more detailed information.
Send feedback requests to optimise your service
Want to improve your business? You'll need feedback! Input from your customers is valuable data with which you can optimise your business to their liking. And as we all know, happy customers are returning customers. Use RCS with suggested responses to capture this feedback instantly.
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Get started with RCS
CM.com recognises the enormous potential that RCS has, and strives to make it available for customers in the best way possible by partnering with multiple operators worldwide. Most recently, CM.com has increased its reach in the UK, successfully connecting many new retail customers to access the benefits of RCS.
Do you also want to reap the benefits of RCS messaging? CM.com’s Mobile Marketing Cloud and Mobile Service Cloud are omnichannel customer engagement solutions that include RCS, among many other messaging apps, delivering a superior customer experience to increase engagement and drive conversion.
In addition, our unified Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) provides your customers with on-the-go access to your business via all their favourite conversational channels via our Business Messaging API.