Article

Chike Agbai
Chike Agbai 27 October 2016

Can Messaging and Chatbots become a $40+ Billion Market Opportunity?

Messaging platforms like FB Messenger, Slack, Kik, and Telegram have embedded themselves within the flow of people’s daily lives. Its no wonder why chatbots should represent the future of e-commerce.

With consumers spending more time on messaging platforms, businesses looking to get close to their customers need to look beyond mobile apps and websites. Messaging, chatbots and smart agents allow brands to reach their customers where they spend most of their time.

The reliance on mobile apps as the primary means for engaging with their mobile customers is an ageing strategy, rapidly fading in relevance. Customers no longer flock to the app stores on their iPhones and Android devices. At least not with the frenzy of the early days.

What’s more is that while millions of mobile apps are still downloaded every year, 1-in-4 are abandoned after just a single use. Roughly half of mobile customers don’t download any apps whatsoever in a given month.

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What happened?

Well, most people are spending their time on messaging platforms. They easily connect with their families and friends there. And these platforms provide more than just instant messaging and games. Already users can trade video clips, photos, news, and make video calls.

It does not take much imagination to see how messaging and chatbots can emerge as the place for e-commerce and consumer transactions. The top four global messaging platforms — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber — have 2.1 billion monthly active users.

Businesses that offer chatbots for Facebook Messenger alone will find themselves with access to one billion monthly active users. Building a chatbot for your Facebook page then becomes a logical extension of your social media and e-commerce strategies.

Messaging platforms have embedded themselves within the flow of people’s daily lives.

And while much needs to happen to accommodate the commercial opportunity, chatbots and messaging could be a massive market. Ben Wilson of Pacific Crest estimates that it could represent a $44.5 billion addressable market just within the U.S.

Even a more conservative estimate would still peg the opportunity for e-commerce use cases alone at approximately $2–3 billion in the short-term.

Overall total retail sales were $4.6 trillion for the US in 2015. Benchmarked against total online sales of $342 billion and mobile e-commerce of $104 billion, it’s easy to see why all brands should have a messaging / chatbot presence. Brands should skate to where the puck is going! Its just good business to shift strategies and follow the customer.

At Azumo we’ve been sharing our views and building chatbots and intelligent applications for our customers for some time now. We are passionate about using new technologies to solve complex problems for customers around the globe. If you enjoyed what you read pls like and share with your colleagues.

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