A new report from Juniper Research found that consumer retail spend over chatbots will reach $142 billion by 2024; rising from $2.8 billion in 2019 – an average annual growth of 400% over the next four years.
The research identified the retail sector as a key beneficiary of advances in NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technologies. It forecast that NLU would be essential in providing a seamless retail experience for users and to establish chatbots as a reliable retail channel as it enables chatbots to efficiently process human inputs and produce more accurate automated responses to users.
Chatbots are an omnichannel retail must have
The research forecasts that advances in NLU capabilities will drive the effectiveness of chatbots. It anticipates that over 50% of retail chatbot interactions will be completed successfully by 2024, without the need for human intervention. As a result, the research urges retailers to implement chatbots as part of a wider omnichannel retail strategy in order to maximise their presence on a number of key retail channels.
Additionally, the research found that 80% of global consumer spend over chatbots will be attributable to discrete chatbots by 2024. These are embedded directly into a retailer’s mobile app, rather than accessed via a browser or messaging application. Juniper anticipates that control over development and the ability to retain company branding will drive discrete chatbots to become the most popular chatbot medium in retail.
Far East and China will lead
The report also forecast 70% of the global number of chatbots accessed by 2024 would be attributable to Far East & China. Furthermore, over $80 billion will be spent via chatbots in China in 2024; accounting for over 55% of global chatbot spend in that year. However, the research highlighted that this will still only be around 4% of total mobile and online spend on digital and physical goods in the region.