Chatbots Can Save $11 Bn Annually For Retail And Banking Sector

Use of chatbots or the virtual assistants that became little what mainstream in 2017 across industries is expected to deliver $11bn in annual cost savings for retail, banking and healthcare industries in coming times. They will also help consumers and businesses to save over 2.5 billion customer service hours by 2023, a report suggests.

A new report from Juniper Research has found that the adoption of chatbots across the retail, banking and healthcare sectors will realise business cost savings of $11 billion annually by 2023, up from an estimated $6 billion in 2018.

The research found that these cost savings will be derived from the reduced amount of time spent on customer service enquiries. Using chatbots, businesses will dramatically cut response and interaction times via phone and social channels. It forecast that consumers and businesses combined will save over 2.5 billion hours by 2023 in these sectors.

The new research, Chatbots: Banking, eCommerce, Retail & Healthcare 2018-2023, found that the retail sector will gain the most benefits from this technology, with Juniper estimating that by 2023 over 70% of chatbots accessed will be retail-based.

It highlighted both customer service and eCommerce as key use cases, although cautioned 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 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 eCommerce transactions via these virtual assistants to reach $112 billion by 2023.

Chatbot Integration Future of Apps

The research found that whilst 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.

By 2023, Juniper forecasts that over 50% of the chatbots accessed will be through discrete apps, with complete bot integration overturning the make up of current app functionality.

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