4 industries that will benefit from providing in-app communication

July 27, 2018 | Singapore | Industry Insights

While in-app communication has proved to be a hit for social media applications, few other industries have hopped on the bandwagon. Here’s why they should. By Bent Rye, CEO at Temasys Communications

Apps like Instagram enable in-app communication through real-time photo and video sharing and interactive communication. However, this technology shouldn’t be exclusive to social media – there are many other industries that can benefit from offering in-app communication as well.

Sure, not all app companies have the communication stack to develop such functions within their apps. Nonetheless, there are solutions that provide app developers the API to be integrated into their apps – they do not have to build the infrastructure from scratch. How does this work and which industries are best placed to be disrupted by in-app communication?

Temasys Communications has done the hard work of building the aforementioned technology. Our cloud and API (Application Program Interface) solution, based on a standard called WebRTC, makes it easy to embed real-time interactive voice, video and data securely into any app, on any device. This means that anyone can integrate the API to their existing app, and the in-app communication function can be up and running within the same day.

While the market is still early in the adoption cycle, there are key industries that are in a prime position to take advantage of this technology to establish their brands as disruptive leaders in their fields.

1. E-learning
Given that the e-learning arena is a crowded space, one would think that companies would be scrambling to adopt new innovations and technologies to stand out from the competition. But the reality is quite the contrary: most e-learning portals have been providing one-way learning courses for years. Hence, for any player that seeks to be the industry leader, providing a more interactive, two-way experience is the way to go.

With in-app communication, students will be able to communicate real-time with educators while going through the e-lessons. Students may also use the function to exchange ideas, work on projects together and more – all without having to leave the e-learning portal. This will be a step towards bringing the in-person learning experience, typically found in classroom environments, online. As most of the current solutions only offer one-way communication, an e-learning platform that can provide the most interactive and human experience is likely to rise to the top.

2. Healthcare
Healthtech is a growing industry, with apps that perform functions such as appointment reminders, self-checks, and medication management. However, while the digitisation of healthcare services has come a long way, the current solutions in the market cannot fully replace a physical medical consultation. What are the factors that impede further innovation this arena? I’d say it boils down to two factors: regulation and trust.

As patient data is sensitive, regulators are unlikely to approve of an app that replaces an in-person consultation. After all, many apps are known to collect data, sometimes without the user’s knowledge. Consumers are also becoming savvier; unless their data privacy and security is guaranteed, it would be difficult to convince them to opt for a virtual consultation over a physical one.

And with the current offerings in this field, a virtual consultation is unlikely to be secure, because the process would look a lot like this: patient opens an app, inputs symptoms, receives a list of suggested practitioners, selects one, and is directed out of the app to have a call over Skype. The problem with this process is twofold: external communication apps are not secure, and having to leave the app to proceed with the consultation is inconvenient.

This is why remote healthcare providers and virtual healthcare app companies would stand to gain from integrating a secure API into their systems like the solution provided by Temasys, one that is in-app, comprehensive, enterprise-grade, and ensures that user data would not be compromised.

3. Airlines
You might think that with the launch of the Singapore Airlines Suites Class, the luxury airline market would have nothing more to offer for its wealthy VIP customers. Well, listen up, airlines – here’s another way to attract and retain VIP flyers.

By providing in-app communication features exclusively for VIP customers, airlines can differentiate and make the flying experience even more stress-free. No one wants to stand in line if flights are cancelled, or have to face busy phone lines to speak to support personnel.

In-app communication would mean that a customer seeking support for booking issues on the airlines’ app can immediately make a call or share their screen with the support staff, instead of having to exit the app to make a phone call or send an email to continue the troubleshooting process. When it comes down to it, the most high-quality service that can be offered is a seamless and stress-free troubleshooting process when things go wrong.

4. Luxury e-commerce
The e-commerce industry has seen many changes and innovations emerge out of a trendy and technologically-savvy generation. Demand for luxury goods is also increasing with greater spending power. There is, however, still a gap in the market that big brands are not capitalising on.

While many mid-tier and high street brands are closing their brick-and-mortar stores in favour of digital ones, notice how luxury brands’ physical stores seem to stay. That’s because shoppers typically have more considerations before purchasing a high-value item, and after browsing online stores of these high-end brands, they would rather make the trip to the physical stores for the in-person experience.

This is where an in-app communication function can help to significantly reduce the sales cycle for luxury e-commerce brands. For example, it can help answer shoppers’ questions in real-time, providing pop-up videos showcasing the actual products, and otherwise reducing their hesitations about making their purchases online. This would also enable brands to expand their reach into different markets without having to invest in physical stores.

These are relatively competitive markets; if one player adopts a new technology, others are likely to follow. So now that the secret’s out, it’s a race to see which player in each of these spaces would be the first to leverage in-app communication to provide better service, disrupt their industries, and secure a greater share of the market pie.

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