Global spending on for conversational commerce using OTT channels, including WhatsApp and WeChat, is set to almost double in a year, rising from $13.3bn in 2022 to $25.1bn in 2023.
According to research by Juniper Research, this growth of 89% will be driven by verticals such as retail and ecommerce, which provide increased online presence and product availability as retailers refine their online customer experience.
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OTT-based conversational commerce enables users to make purchases or transfer money directly in OTT messaging apps. The new research finds that ecommerce and retail will be the main beneficiaries of the tech, accounting for more than 35% of spend via OTT conversational commerce channels in.
However, the study suggests that regional fragmentation in the OTT messaging space as a key hurdle to growth. To overcome this, it urges conversational commerce vendors to onboard each messaging app individually, while adhering strictly to the varying financial regulations in each country.
Other issues for conversational commerce vendors include the varying types of payment methods in use across countries. Vendors need to account for these differences and support various digital wallets. This flexibility will enable vendors to offer a complete omnichannel experience by providing payments across OTT apps, chatbots, voicebots and RCS business messaging.
To increase market share, conversational commerce platforms must also invest in value-added services to provide differentiation from existing conversational services. For example, digital loyalty programmes can be used to provide personalised and incentivised messages to achieve increases in digital engagement. In addition, vendors must facilitate features such as link tracking and call-to-action support to monitor engagement.
Research author Elisha Sudlow-Poole comments: “Supporting a sufficient number of communication channels is no longer enough to ensure the success of omnichannel experiences. Vendors must look to include additional value-added services into their business model to create depth within existing communication channels.”