Chatbots to Save Businesses and Consumers US$11 billion

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The adoption of chatbots across the banking, healthcare and retail sectors will save businesses US$11 billion annually by 2023, up from an estimated US$6 billion in 2018, said Juniper Research recently.

These cost savings will come from the reduced amount of time spent on customer service inquiries via phone and social channels—predicted to be more than 2.5 billion service hours for both consumers and businesses by 2023, according to the firm’s report titled Chatbots: Banking, e-Commerce, Retail & Healthcare 2018-2023.

While messaging applications have been the first platforms on which chatbots flourished, chatbot-enabled apps in use will greatly increase as many retailers, financial institutions and healthcare providers integrate the technology into their dedicated apps, the research firm noted.

More than 50% of the chatbots accessed will be through discrete apps by 2023, with complete bot integration overturning the make-up of current app functionality, the research firm said.

The retail sector will gain the most benefits from chatbot technology, Juniper Research estimated, adding that over 70% of chatbots accessed will be retail-based by 2023.

The report also highlights that both customer service and e-Commerce as key use cases, although cautioning that greater investment in chatbot functionality will be required to meet consumer expectations.

In that context, Juniper forecasts that improvement in AI, as shown recently by Google’s Duplex, to create a more personable user experience would be fundamental in creating a ‘pull’ factor for chatbots.

Juniper Research cited benefits such as cost savings, up-selling, marketing and cart recovery as major retailer chatbot ‘push’ factors. Retailers will take advantage of these opportunities, propelling chatbot implementation and driving e-Commerce transactions via chatbots to reach US$112 billion by 2023, the firm added.