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Conversational commerce spend over RCS to reach $27bn globally by 2025

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A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global conversational commerce spend over RCS messaging will reach $27bn by 2025; rising from less than $10 million in 2021.

This phenomenal growth will be driven by increasing RCS support from operators and growing interest from enterprises wishing to capitalise on this emerging channel. RCS is a communications protocol that enables rich media messaging services, including chatbots and in-app payments, over cellular networks.

The new report, Conversational Commerce: Market Outlook, Emerging Opportunities & Forecasts 2021-2025, forecasts that RCS will be the fastest-growing conversational commerce channel over the next 5 years. By 2025, the technology is anticipated to account for 10% of conversational commerce spend; rising from less than 1% in 2021.

Retail, media & FMCG provide early opportunities

The report identified 3 markets that will present immediate opportunities via RCS-based conversational commerce to communications platforms:

  • ​Retail
  • ​Media
  • ​FMCG

It predicts that low levels of regulatory restrictions and high levels of user readiness will drive enterprises in these markets to explore RCS as a commerce channel first. As a result, communications platforms must target players in these markets as a matter of priority.

Research author Sam Barker comments: “Enterprises are focused on offering services through as many channels as possible. RCS is well positioned to handle the migration of commerce activities from established channels, such as online or in app.”

Partnerships with payment vendors crucial

In addition to onboarding new service users, the research identified the need for communications platforms to partner with multiple payments providers; owing to the regional differences in payment preferences. It suggests that communications platforms focus on forming partnerships in countries in which there is already a high base of RCS-capable subscribers, such as the US, Brazil and Germany.

The report estimates that only 18% of mobile subscribers will access RCS services in 2021, however, this is anticipated to grow to over 40% by 2025; identifying the Americas as a key growth region over the next 5 years.

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