DPD Parcel Delivery RCS Messaging Demo from IMImobile (2019)


Derek: Hello everyone, Derek from tatango.com. We’re at Mobile World Congress, 2019. We have a really cool demo from IMImobile. This is Alex. So Alex, explain to me what IMImobile is. Alex: So IMImobile are a cloud software communications
business. We enable our clients, our customers, to communicate
with their customers through a wide range of different kind of messaging capabilities. It could be for purposes of marketing, it
could be of live chat, it could be of, kind of, business automation and different systems
communicating with customers. Derek: So you’re here in the Google Innovation
Center, GSMA Innovation Center, hosted by Google, I guess, a beautiful place. And, you’re demoing one of your clients that
is now using RCS? Alex: Yes. So, actually, it’s not quite live, I have
to be honest. We are getting ready for a launch in the UK. Still, I’m sure, you know, that we’re dependent
on the mobile network operators rolling the solution out. But when they do, yeah, this is ready to go,
and the infrastructure and the technology is there, ready today, and to support this. But, today we’re showing you a demo. Derek: How has the reception been to RCS in
the UK by like the people, and the carriers? Because I’m from the United States, we know
kind of what Verizon and AT&T think. Are they excited? And then the brands, do you see any difference
between the United States and the UK in terms of adoption, or just their feelings about
RCS? Alex: I think, first of all, SMS is a really
old technology, but it’s really well used. A lot of businesses use it for customer notifications,
interactivity, and automating, kind of, business processes and notifications. This RCS is a natural evolution of that, but
provides a much richer experience for a customer. And I think a lot of brands and businesses
that we’re working with definitely are looking at it saying, “This is great. When is this gonna be ready? We really wanna get something going.” Derek: So it’s more, when is it ready, not
like,” Okay, try to sell me on this.” They’re ready. It’s more just the adoption rate. Alex: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is, really. And I think, you know, some of the great things
about it, it’s the natural SMS, it’s the natural inbox on a phone, yeah? They haven’t got to get a new application. It’s already there on their device. It’s gonna be a natural upgrade for them. They’re just going to see a change and that
change is gonna be for the better. Derek: Because I know you know the UK market
very well, what has been kind of the evolution of SMS? Has it been replaced by like the OTT, WhatsApp,
Facebook Messenger? I know in the United States, SMS just still
king. What is kind of the market mix do you see
in the U.K.? Alex: So, clearly, WhatsApp have now launched
business messaging, Apple have launched Apple Business Chat, you know, Facebook Messenger
and the ability to message a business through Facebook has been around for a couple of years
now. I think a lot of brands have tried Facebook. I think we’ve seen some really good success
in the U.K. with some Facebook services, with Facebook Messenger services. I think still there is… You know, it’s very much a Facebook-led discovery
process, whereas something like RCS, it’s actually the business that are in control
of that rather than being on someone else’s platform. I think it’s very early days for WhatsApp,
there’s only really a few WhatsApp For Business, only a few brands on that today, but I will
think there’ll be more. Key, though, is that it’s really the customer
making the decision on how to communicate with the business. So it’s gonna be the customer deciding actually
what’s their channel of choice, and how does the customer want to interact with the business. And from our perspective, we’ll support all
of those. You know, we’re in a position where our one
platform can support all of those messaging channels, and provide to the likes of DPD,
a single solution to handle any of those customer interactions. Derek: So walk me through what’s going on
here, and start with, are they getting the message, out of the blue? Are they messaging into this company? Alex: So, in the demo here I’m showing you
today, someone’s bought something online, they bought a parcel online. DPD are the delivery partner for that online
business or the retailer. And as a customer, I’ve been notified that
a parcel is on the way. So, the first message as you can see here,
the DPD driver, Brian, he’s gonna deliver the parcel at 10:00 in the morning. But if you’re not in, then you can change
that, we can step through some options and make some delivery changes. So, in this instance, I’ll click, change my
delivery options, let’s see what we’ve got. When this comes back… Derek: So this is…Like I’m just sitting
on my couch, or let’s say at work, this is a message that just pops up on my phone because
I have a package, wait, I’m not going to a chatbot directory and looking for this, this
is a true outbound message. Alex: It’s an outbound notification, yeah. It’s an outbound notification telling you
that something’s on the way. And it’s likely you might not be at home,
you know, you might be at work. You could have popped to the shop, you may
not be there that particular instance. So, we’re gonna present some different options
back to you… Derek: Oh, and I think it’s frozen on the
screen, there. We can reset the… What’s interesting about this, and maybe you
can reset it, and then I’ll bring in the brand, because I think what’s really interesting
about RCS is actually talking to the brand and figuring out, are brands actually interested
in this? And then, where do they make money or where
do they save money? So… Vernon. Vernon: Hi. Derek: Good to see you. Vernon: Good to be here. Derek: So explain to me, number one, how they
came to you and presented RCS, and what was your initial reaction to it? Vernon: Well certainly, I mean, SMS have been
around for years, and that’s our prime method of communicating to our consumers. So RCS was gonna give us a richer communication
method, and a richer experience for our consumers. And ultimately, it’s for our customers, to
be able to deliver the parcels, and deliver the parcels effectively. So, to be able to provide the options within
the text, which is in effect what we’re doing, will be a great advantage, and we wanted to
be number one in there. Derek: So, currently, you use SMS, correct? Vernon: Yeah. Derek: Okay. So, SMS, I’m guessing, has some limitations. Is there going to be any business case for
RCS? Are you gonna save money because they can
do certain things, with RCS, that you couldn’t do with SMS? Vernon: I think it’s more of a convenience,
and the fact that it’s a richer experience. So today if you receive a text, you actually
have to click on the link and go to the website. So, we’d prefer people to have our app, but
if they haven’t got the app, then they receive a text, and then they go to the website and
transact. But if we can do it within the RCS, it’s a
faster experience, and it’s more convenient for the consumer. Derek: So it’s really about, like, the consumer
feel, like they feel good about your company. It’s easy, rather than reducing cost essentially,
because, they’re doing the same process within the app or SMS. This is just way easier and way smoother. Vernon: Far smoother, and I said, it’s instant
response, I can get on with my day. I’ve dealt with where my package is gonna
be delivered, and I can move on, and I haven’t had to jump out to a website. I’ve dealt with it, and now I can continue
the conversation, I can go back in, and because it’s connected to our chatbot, we can give
them live updates. Derek: It’s very cool. Are there any things that you’re waiting for
to roll this out? Because I know this is a demo. Is it just adoption? Vernon: Yeah. The mobile networks. So, at the moment, I think two of the networks
have got it in place, and we’re just waiting for the rest the networks to deploy it. Derek: That’s great. So, there’s literally no hurdles except for
just adoption? Vernon: Adoption. Yeah. Yeah. We’re ready just to go. Derek: That sounds great. So, we’re gonna go back to the demo here. Alex: Do you want to talk a bit? Derek: Either or. Alex: [inaudible 00:08:09] Derek: So what happened here, just to recap,
is we went through, and, you received a mass message, or a message… Yeah, either or. So the consumer received the message, and
maybe they’re not home, so you responded back and clicked “Change delivery options,” and
then you started this kind of chatbot experience. Vernon: That’s correct. So, you receive the text from DPD to say that
Asos have sent them a parcel, we’re changing the delivery options, and as you come down,
you see you get the various options here. So I can change the date, I can leave it in
a safe place, I can leave it with a neighbor, or I can actually say “Collect it from a pick-up
shop.” Derek: And this is all tied into like the
chatbot experience that you guys have on your back-end. Vernon: So, what it’s done, it’s said these
are the three nearest shops to where the delivery point was, and so I can then select one of
these shops here, and then to rearrange the delivery. Derek: That’s really cool. Vernon: There will be full functionality in
the final product. This is just a concept to show you exactly
how it will work. And so it’s confirmed. It’s telling you where to go, and you can
then get directions from Google Maps of how to get there. Derek: Do you see this… Like if this had 100% adoption rate, would
this replace your mobile app, or are there things that maybe RCS can’t do that an app
can do? Vernon: Well, what this is doing is it’s putting
us directly into, in effect, our chatbot, to be able to respond to whatever query I’m
likely to ask. So if I was to add another message here, the
chatbot would respond. But generally, I can only do three or four
things about the delivery today. Derek: But do you think that, like your app,
if everybody can use this experience, RCS experience, will there even be a need for
mobile apps in the future? Vernon: I think it’ll be dependent on the
consumer and how they want to work. So we’ll have the app, we’ll have the website,
and we’ll also have messaging with RCS, and also with Apple Business Chat. Derek: So it’s really, for you guys is, being
where the consumer is and easy. If something brand new comes out, you’ll be
there as well. Vernon: It’s about the consumer’s choice,
isn’t it? The consumer’s gonna choose whatever channel
they want to use, and we wanna be there and provide them with the same experience. Derek: Sounds good to me. Awesome. Well, that is another RCS demo from Mobile
World Congress 2019, here in Barcelona. We’re at the GSMA Innovation City, again,
with a great brand, DPD, and IMImobile that actually built the RCS chatbot. And another great reason why people are using
RCS is really to be where the customer is and to provide them a better experience.


3 Responses

  1. Tatango

    October 7, 2019 3:54 pm

    Check out our other Mobile World Congress 2019 videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9VHsE18iQ6a4nkh7okKAdLTz1nGNpiIf

  2. Alex Mittelstaedt

    October 8, 2019 5:39 pm

    This was one of the more practical applications of RCS I've seen. Made perfect sense, flowed easy and accomplished something.


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