2022 Predictions; Brands to invest a lot more on Chat Commerce

Clickatell has collaborated with senior executives across the Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), and Digital Commerce industries to research and predict what trends we can expect to stand out in 2022 among brands. Based on that collaboration, and conversations with different leaders in the industry, the mobile communications and chat commerce platform has shared a list of its predictions for 2022.

These are the predictions:

  1. Brands will meet customers where they already are – in Chat Apps
  2. Further reduced need for downloads as brands will extend services through the chat apps
  3. Better personalisation through the digital engagement.

As a result of the pandemic, digital transformation efforts have accelerated and we now have a multi-billion dollar chat commerce market opportunity. With consumers living in their chat apps, brands are now forced to move beyond the desktop, beyond mobile websites, branded apps, or email engagements and meet customers where they are. And they must do this for both support, engagement, and payments.

“Chat Commerce is the third wave of digital commerce, following on from eCommerce and app commerce,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO and Co-Founder at Clickatell. “More than 7.7 billion people use some form of chat several times a day, making chat the largest digital engagement channel in the world. With COVID-19 accelerating digital commerce adoption and businesses fast tracking their digital transformation to meet consumers where they are, we can expect an increased demand for and deployment of Chat Commerce services and experiences.”

According to CMO Council’s report Chat Commerce Resource Center Instant Interaction Driving Business Traction, “Chat Commerce has become one of the fastest-growing global phenomena. No other channel of engagement has this kind of relevant and repeatable impact. The market opportunity for Chat Commerce is virtually unlimited, and brands have only begun to tap into its potential.”

Meeting Customers at their Chat Apps:

Clickatell predicts that consumers will continue to avoid call centres and app downloads forcing brands to use chat apps. This can be done conveniently at any time, anwyhere.

For example, a consumer traveling on a plane may connect with the airline from his address book to upgrade his seat through chat. The consumer may place an order and make a payment in real time, using a card on file or their airline rewards card in the chat app they are also using to communicate with friends and family while waiting to board.

Clickatell customer Eswee Vorster, Executive Manager and CIO at top South Africa airline FlySafair, said, “I think chat is a potential gamechanger for us going forward. It is a kickoff for us to know our customers better, and to attain valuable data and a single view of a customer, which is crucial. I am very excited about the future and to engage better with our customers.”

Reduced Downloads

Consumers across generations, not just Gen Z and millennials, will continue to communicate and manage their lives in chat. Brands will invest to serve their customers within the chat channel their customers already use.

Brett StClair, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist Officer at TeraFlow and member of Clickatell’s Insight Circle, noted, “Understanding a customer’s journey down to a microdata point is where meaningful improvements can be made. By analyzing the data that resides within each company’s ambit, companies can isolate the microdata needed to build exceptional customer journeys. If brands are able to create customer journeys that are so deeply personalized, why would they miss the opportunity to deliver them over their customers’ preferred channel? Choosing chat is the logical first step in a successful customer experience strategy.”

Better Personalisation

Brands will add more personal, targeted, and relevant communications around their checkout experience. Chat Commerce enables buying, paying, and selling through more personal interactions between the consumer and merchant, including automated, intelligent chatbot-powered interactions.

Alec Wright, Chief Product Officer at OneValley and featured in Clickatell’s Insight Circle, elaborated, “What’s been really exciting in Digital Commerce, both on the payment side and the banking data side, is all of the pipes that have been built over the last five to ten years. To that end, every brand is starting to operate like a bank and offer financial services. I believe over the next five years we’re going to see the payments infrastructure and the banking infrastructure become as easy and user-friendly as food delivery is today.”

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