Online commerce is moving from being purely transactional into a more service-driven mode of operation. That means customers won't just visit your online store or service expecting a simple exchange of goods and services for money. They will expect to be able to ask questions and receive a prompt response. Facebook Messenger is becoming a key communication tool for many businesses so the news that Facebook has made it easier to integrate Facebook Messenger into your website is welcome.
Customer Chat is now in an open beta so anyone can install and try it out on their website. You'll need to install the Facebook SDK to your site and jump through a couple of hoops to get it working but, from there, you'll be able to integrate a chat window to your site. An article on the Messenger Developer Blog outlines the entire process as well as some tips to make the experience as welcoming as possible for your customers.
Many small retailers are feeling threatened by the Amazon juggernaut but with the offical Australian launch delayed, there's more time to prepare your online platforms. Amazon might be big and well resourced, but their biggest advantage isn't price and range - it's service. And tools like effective online chat, so you can respond to customers quickly, can go a long way to assuaging the Amazon advantage.
If you don't have online chat, then this looks like an easy way to add this functionality to your business' website.