Speaking as a parent of young adult children who has to text them to get them to check their email, I was surprised to see Everlane going back to email in some of their customer communications. However, even if email isn't top of mind for consumers anymore, it IS an archive for transactions, and it is capable of providing privacy and lots of extra information.
Digging deeper, we find that Everlane does not expect to maintain just one communication channel with its customers. Facebook Messenger may be great for "your order just shipped," and maybe for customer service questions, but for driving new purchases and building loyalty, email is a vital tool.
Sailthru: How Online Retailer Everlane Uses Email and Mobile to Bridge the Online and Offline Worlds, 2016-Aug-11 by Kristine Lowery interview with Aaron Ginn
Email has been a consistently performing channel for the last 15 or 20 years because there’s nothing in between you and your customer. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram insert a middle layer in between you and the consumer, and they’re always going to control that interaction in some way....
Marketers need to constantly rethink and reimagine email engagement. There are some interesting tools that are coming out for email, such as interactive emails and being able to buy a product through email. Google has a tool to send data signals from the static email back into your API or your service. Those types of things are going to create a sort of semi-Renaissance for email, because it is still the most commonly used communication tool and it generates a lot of revenue.
Recode: One of Facebook Messenger’s first retail partners has ditched it as a notification tool, 2017-Mar-1 by Jason Del Rey
Everlane had essentially used Messenger as an alternative to email, sending messages with order confirmations and shipping updates to customers who opted into the communication method. (From personal experience, I think it worked really smoothly.) It also allowed customers to send questions to customer service reps via Facebook messages. That last use case is still live.When the partnership first started, CEO Michael Preysman told Recode that “over time we think this will become a way to not only build stronger relationships with customers, but to ultimately drive demand and new purchases.” It looks like that may not have happened.