Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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    EDITORIAL How a booming digital commerce market is going to get fiercely competitive – and how World Telemedia can help

    With World Telemedia just four weeks away, the true potential of the digital commerce sector has been revealed in a new study out this week, which values the sector at an enormous $12.3trn globally in 2022 – but is expecting it to rise to more like $20trn in the next five years.

    Growth in ecommerce underpins this, but it is growth in all things digital – in consumers now living almost wholly digitally augmented lives – that really drives this forward.

    And it is easy to see why. Digital commerce is now ubiquitous and underpins every form of marketing and engagement, retail and shopping, gaming, dating and more.

    Already, for example, digital ticketing is worth nearly $800bn this year, growing to $1.4trn by 2027. It got a boost, like everything else digital, from the pandemic, but in many ways it has seen the most sticking power. Many consumers have gone back to real world shopping – albeit enhanced with ecommerce – but they have stuck to digital ticketing to get the bus to the mall, as it were.

    The only fly – as anyone trying to pay for carparking this summer will attest – is that there are now such a fragmented proliferation of apps to do it on that it can be confusing and requires the remembering of a lot of passwords. But I digress; this move to digital ticketing, wrapped up as it is in digital payments (more of which shortly), is a clear signpost to how digital everything has become.

    Just take a look at the world of messaging. It is seeing rapid and dramatic changes, with live video chat being added to text messaging – itself a sop to the burgeoning RCS and OTT rich messaging platforms – and even new messaging platforms such as Telegram starting to garner enough interest to be viewed as worthy of inclusion in pantheon of messaging platforms that businesses need to contact consumers on.

    Research has shown that short-form video is the most engaging format among Millennials and Gen Z. As video content is being prioritised across social and advertising platforms, businesses and organisations are trying to break through an overabundance of advertising and marketing content. Now one company in the US – Hustle – is looking to add it to text to bring SMS into the video-led conversational commerce paradigm.

    Telegram, meanwhile, became one of the top five downloaded apps worldwide in 2022, with more than 700 million monthly active users. With such a high number of users and huge popularity,

    Telegram has attracted the attention of every professional marketer. Increased interest for Telegram by marketers is not a surprise given the fact that using its powerful features efficiently can increase the visibility and outreach of a business, boost sales and get the target audience to explore companies’ products and services, surprisingly, without any costs. An interesting new addition, you’ll agree.

    In the world of billing and payments, too, there are seismic changes. Open banking has opened the floodgates for a raft of new services – some of which so effectively circumvent traditional payment processes as to be almost free.

    What all this means for consumers is clear: a better, more digital world. What it means for telemedia is less clear. Free account to account payments makes for an interesting new way for consumers to pay, but it does mean that there is little or no money around for payment providers – and where there is, the market is going to get fiercely competitive.

    Likewise, the proliferation of messaging technologies – new ones, not rehashes of old ones, nor the introduction of RCS – again inhibits how much money can actually be generated by the companies that carry these messages.

    The market for digital commerce is going to be immense, but there are going to be many more different platforms and players seeking to capitalise on that. So where are the opportunities going to lie?

    This is something that World Telemedia Marbella in four weeks time will be clearing up. With experts from across the industry, the event promises to offer the ideal talking shop to understand not only where these technologies and services are today, but also how to navigate the changing world the lies ahead. Over the next four weeks we shall be looking at some of the highlights and I for one very much look forward to talking some more at the show. See you there.

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