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What is in-app chat?

In-app chat is an embeddable feature that allows users to send and receive messages in real time while active in a mobile app.

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Also called in-app messaging, this feature enables users to exchange text-based messages and rich media content without leaving the app. This results in seamless communication and collaboration, and helps promote engagement with the overall app experience. 

Chat capabilities can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) software, marketing, and analytics platforms, allowing a business to personalize, monitor, and gain insight into its in-app chat function.

Benefits of in-app chat

  • Increased engagement: In-app chat offers a direct line of communication between app users, allowing them to connect, share media, and have conversations in real time without leaving the app.

  • Improved conversions: Businesses use in-app chat to send targeted, location-based outreach to users when they’re most receptive to personalized offers, discounts, recommendations, and in-app transactions.

  • Greater retention: Hosting context-rich conversations in your app fosters a sense of community and connection among users, which leads to increased adoption, app usage, and brand loyalty.

  • Higher ROI: Adding feature-rich chat capabilities to the app experience helps to drive engagement and conversions, enable new revenue models, and boost your app’s overall revenue potential.

  • Better CSAT scores: In-app chat allows you to offer seamless customer support from right in your app. When customers can reach out for assistance and get help without switching channels, customer support ratings tend to improve.

Use cases for in-app chat

  • Marketing: In-app chat allows mobile marketers to deliver personalized and targeted outreach, including offers, onboarding flows, re-engagement campaigns, surveys, cart abandonment reminders, and more to drive conversions.

  • Sales: Rather than rely on ineffective chatbots, businesses use in-app chat to nurture, support, and convert customers with a personal touch.

  • Operations: In-app chat allows teams to communicate reliably and efficiently within collaboration platforms. This enables project discussions, teamwork, task assignments, and more.

  • Live streaming: In-app chat allows streamers and viewers to interact synchronically, engaging formerly passive viewers, gamifying engagement, and driving transactions.

  • User conversations: In-app chat allows users to connect and engage in private or group conversations. Modern message features like emojis, reactions, and rich media help to foster a rewarding experience that retains users.

How industries use in-app chat

  • Social apps: Users can send messages, share rich media, initiate voice and video calls, and join group chats inside the app. The ability to engage in seamless conversations with feature-rich messaging capabilities helps to grow and sustain user communities.

  • On-demand services: Rideshare, food delivery, and other service apps rely on in-app chat to facilitate a smooth delivery experience. It allows users to talk with providers, track orders, give instructions, and make special requests.

  • Marketplaces: Buyers and sellers can communicate directly via in-app messaging, discussing products, coordinating deliveries, and resolving transaction-related issues to promote transparency, trust, and transactions.

  • Retail: In-app chat allows retailers to deliver tailored support to app users via instantaneous chat, voice calling, or video calling. These high-context, personalized experiences make agents more productive and efficient at supporting and converting online shoppers.

  • Financial services: In-app chat allows financial firms to provide convenient customer support and timely account updates, enhancing trust and encouraging future transactions.

  • Digital health: Health providers use in-app chat to deliver virtual care, providing patients personalized care, appointment reminders, policy updates, and more within the app.

  • Customer support: In-app chat enhances support capabilities, allowing users to receive convenient, quick support from agents in the app to improve customer satisfaction.

Key features of in-app chat

  • Real-time communications: In-app chat allows users to send and receive messages instantly, enabling quick and easy communications that foster app usage.

  • Text and rich media: In-app chat allows users to express themselves through various media formats. Users can type text-based messages and share multimedia content.

  • Threads: In-app chat is typically organized into conversations, or threads. This helps users view message history, engage in conversation, and respond to messages in context.

  • Typing indicators: This feature lets users know when the other party is typing a response, increasing engagement by offering a visual cue that a response is incoming.

  • Read receipts: This feature indicates when a message has been delivered and read by the recipient, providing instantaneous conversation that improves engagement.

  • Emojis and reactions: Emojis, emoticons, and reactions allow users to express feelings in a concise, fun, and non-verbal way. Top in-app messaging solutions support a set of predefined and customizable reactions that help enhance the user experience.

  • Group chats: In addition to one-to-one conversations, in-app chat often supports group conversations that allow multiple participants to share ideas and collaborate.

In-app chat is a convenient and seamless way for users to connect, share media, collaborate, ask for assistance, and more without leaving your app. It’s a key channel for mobile communications.

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