Why Messaging App Tango Launched In-App Shop

Read original story on: TechCrunch

Mobile messaging app Tango is taking a page out of WeChat’s playbook with the launch of an in-app commerce service called Tango Shop. Initially available in the US, Tango’s e-commerce platform is powered by two retail giants, Alibaba and Walmart. The Tango shop features a wide variety of items that can be purchased without leaving the chat app. Payment and logistics are handled by the two retail partners.

Messaging apps have enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years, emerging as a major platform in the mobile ecosystem. As of the third quarter of 2014, 616 million global users were using chat app and mobile instant messengers, spending 7.6 hours per month on them on average. Accordingly, mobile messaging commerce has been seeing some early success in Asia markets with LINE in Japan and WeChat in China, where it has become the de facto mobile Internet platform in China, particularly for retailers.

However, messaging app-based mobile commerce has yet to take off in the U.S., where the relatively high usage of iMessage and persisting popularity of SMS has made it harder to build a mainstream audience for chat apps. Still, if the recent success of Snapchat, with its relentless push towards original content, is any indication, messaging app-based mobile commerce could certainly take off in the U.S. market sooner rather than later.

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Manager of Strategy & Content, IPG Media Lab

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