The report, Conversational Commerce: Market Outlook, Emerging Opportunities & Forecasts 2021-2025, forecasts that RCS will be the fastest-growing conversational commerce channel over the next five years. By 2025, the technology is anticipated to account for 10% of conversational commerce spending, jumping from less than 1% in 2021.
Juniper Research cites that the growth will be driven by increasing RCS support from operators and growing interest from enterprises wishing to capitalise on this emerging channel. Juniper Research defines RCS as a communications protocol that enables rich media messaging services, including chatbots and in-app payments, over cellular networks.
Retail, media and FMCG provide early opportunities
The report identified three markets that will present immediate opportunities via RCS-based conversational commerce to communications platforms: retail, media, and fast-moving consumer goods (FCMG).
It predicts that low levels of regulatory restrictions and high levels of user readiness will drive enterprises in these markets to explore RCS as a commerce channel first. As a result, communications platforms must target players in these markets as a matter of priority.
Research author Sam Barker remarks: “Enterprises are focused on offering services through as many channels as possible. RCS is well-positioned to handle the migration of commerce activities from established channels, such as online or in app.”
Partnerships with payment vendors crucial
In addition to onboarding new service users, the research identifies the need for communications platforms to partner with multiple payments providers due to regional differences in payment preferences. It suggests that communications platforms focus on forming partnerships in countries where RCS-capable subscribers are high such as US, Brazil, and Germany.
The report estimates that only 18% of mobile subscribers will access RCS services in 2021. However, this is anticipated to grow to over 40% by 2025. It predicts that the Americas will be a key growth region over the next five years.