In a report that studied the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on retail, Juniper Research estimates that retail sales stemming from interactions with chatbots are set to reach $112 billion by 2023. The firm also noted that chatbot interactions are set to skyrocket from a forecasted 2.6 billion in 2019 to 22 billion in the same time frame, Retail Dive reported.
And, through automating many communications previously handled by customer service representatives (CSRs), merchants will reportedly experience big cost savings. The report indicated that retailers can foresee cutting costs of $439 billion per year in 2023, up from just $7 million in 2019. (The move, it was said, comes as chatbots powered by artificial intelligence become better at working with shoppers.)
Retailers that don’t bring chatbots into the mix will also reportedly face challenges coming from disruptors that are more technologically adept. At the same time, the outlet noted that multiple brands, including Ray-Ban, Gap and 1-800-Flowers, are using chatbots. It also pointed out that the increasing popularity of smart speakers, which tap into natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence technologies, is making more people familiar with conversational commerce.
Last year, Juniper Research indicated that chatbots’ adoption in retail, healthcare and banking will save firms $11 billion annually by 2023. In a press release highlighting the research in July of last year, Juniper said the cost savings from chatbots would hit $6 billion in 2018, and that the savings will come from the decreased amount of time spent dealing with customer service questions.
According to Juniper at the time, using chatbots will dramatically decrease response times and interaction times through social media and phone. The research also indicated that retailers stand to benefit the most from chatbots, as the firm forecasts that more than 70 percent of chatbots accessed will be retail-based by 2023.