A recent study by Juniper Research has concluded that chatbots are one digital transformation investment that really pays off.
According to the Hampshire, U.K.-based firm’s July 3 research paper, “How chatbots will transform the retail industry,”, businesses can expect to save more than 2.5 billion customer service hours by 2023 thanks to the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistants, worth approximately $11 billion (all figures USD) in annual savings for the retail, banking, and healthcare sectors.
The firm expects chatbots to save the above industries $6 billion in 2018.
However, it’s the retail sector that stands to benefit the most, with Juniper estimating that more than 70 per cent of chatbots accessed will be retail-based by 2023.
According to Juniper, the study highlights both customer service and ecommerce as primary use cases, though it notes that greater investments in chatbot functionality will be needed to meet consumer expectations.
The company’s positive financial outlook is partly based on its forecasts that improvements in AI, recently illustrated by Google’s human-mimicking voice-assistant Duplex, will continue to improve the customer service experience; and that as retailers take advantage of chatbot-driven benefits such as cost savings, upselling, marketing, and cart recovery, chatbot adoption will increase and ecommerce transactions via chatbots will reach $112 billion by 2023.
The report also noted that while third-party messaging apps have been the first platform many consumers have used to interact with chatbots, researchers expect that as the technology is adopted by more companies it will be integrated into an ever-expanding number of retailers’, financial institutions’, and healthcare providers’ first-party apps.