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More Than 8 in 10 Millennials Want to Make Purchases Via Chat App

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A growing shopping trend that is emerging with the coronavirus pandemic, is the surge in contactless and cashless payments.

According to research conducted by global technology company Clickatell, 82% of millennials want to make purchases via chat apps, including 18% who are extremely likely and 31% who are very likely to do so.

More than 8 in 10 (86%) already use chat apps to communicate with businesses, receive directions and more, so making purchases is a logical want.

Chat apps go beyond just chatting — and prove beneficial

Millennials (ages 26 to 39) use chat apps for more than just talking with friends and family. They also tap into chat apps to:

  • Receive messages about pickups or package deliveries (54%)
  • Communicate with businesses (41%)
  • Use links to confirm reservations or appointments (41%)
  • Get directions (40%)
  • Make payments via links (38%)
  • Be sent promotions or special offers (37%)
  • Participate in surveys (30%)

What’s more, 93% of survey respondents say they benefited from communicating with a business through chat. Among those benefits:

  • Saving time by getting a speedy response (48%)
  • Being able to respond when it’s convenient (43%)
  • Keeping all conversations in a single place (41%)
  • Engaging with a frequently used app (38%)
  • Having chat agents who can easily see correspondence history (36%)
  • Not needing to install other apps (34%)
  • Easily verifying identity or personal info (25%)
  • Being able to receive specific offers from businesses (24%)
  • Not having to speak to a live person (19%)

Majority of millennials use chat apps daily

According to the Clickatell report, 71% of millennials use chat apps — think Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp — every day. How frequently each day?

  • Daily (32%)
  • A couple of times a day (23%)
  • Hourly (16%)
  • A couple of times a week (15%)
  • Weekly (14%)

As for which chat apps are used the most, Facebook Messenger was the most popular at 37%. One in 4 (25%) respondents use Apple iMessage most often, followed by WhatsApp (17%), Snapchat (7%) and Instagram chat (6%).

Nearly half of millennials already making retail purchases via chat

With the high percentage of millennials wanting to make purchases through chat apps, it’s not surprising this generation’s consumers are already spending on everything from restaurants to real estate within chat apps. How do those purchases break down?

  • Retail (46%)
  • Restaurants (44%)
  • Consumer goods (38%)
  • Entertainment and media (34%)
  • Gaming (31%)
  • Technology (26%)
  • Travel (23%)
  • Professional services (20%)
  • Health and pharmaceutical (16%)
  • Financial services (16%)
  • Sports (15%)
  • Education (13%)
  • Telecommunication (11%)
  • Child care (10%)
  • Nonprofits (9%)
  • Other (7%)
  • Real estate (5%)

Since using a credit card to make an online purchase can make it easier to overspend, consumers can take action to avoid splurging.

First, designate a credit card for online purchases, setting an alert for any transaction over a certain amount. To keep your score in tiptop shape, always make the minimum payments — on time. Not doing so could ding your credit score.

Methodology: In May 2021, Dimensional Research fielded a survey of more than 1,000 millennials ages 26 to 39 on behalf of Silicon Valley-based Clickatell. These millennials have smartphones, use chat apps at least once a week and come from diverse education levels and incomes.