Apple releases updates to Business Chat

Apple iPhone 6 (Apple)
A new Apple platform allows consumers and retailers to live chat. (Apple)

Last week, Apple announced the release of an iOS update that allows consumers and brands to iMessage using Apple Business Chat. Some of the initial merchants using the platform include big companies such as Lowe's and The Home Depot. 

Initially previewed in January, Apple Business Chat is part of Apple’s iOS 11.3 release. LivePerson is the Apple Business Chat customer service platform provider for Discover, Lowe’s and The Home Depot. The platform allows consumers to get service on their own time instead of waiting on hold.

“What we’re seeing is a tremendous shift to conversational experiences, and it’s top of mind for many CMOs,” says Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO at LivePerson. “The challenge is to take this great feature Apple has delivered, and build rich experiences on top of it that can scale to millions of people. This is a new imperative for brands.”

RELATED: Lowe's offering live conversations through Apple's Business Chat

Brands use the LiveEngage platform to create rich Apple Business Chat consumer experiences with features such as authentication, elegant maps, beautiful product cards and others and then connect those experiences to an agent workforce.

And it seems the iOS messaging platform is serving a much-requested need by consumers. According to recent data from LivePerson, 88.7% of U.S. iPhone users would use or consider using a "message us" bubble next to a brand to get support or ask questions. In a fact, a majority (52.8%) of U.S. consumers would prefer to ask a brand a customer service question through messages; 28% would choose the phone, 13.7% would choose Facebook Messenger and 5.6% would choose Twitter.