The constantly increasing adoption of smartphones means that brands and enterprises have to use a multitude of communication channels to connect with their audience. As juggling an array of separate channels customers would cripple the productivity and quality of service, companies require a singular centralised platform that enables the management of this communication.
Developing such a platform in-house or having it built from scratch by a third party is a serious undertaking that takes time, money and bandwidth to fulfil. Fortunately, a third option exists: adopting a Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solution.
CPaaS platforms provide brands with access to an array of messaging technologies such as SMS, RCS (Rich Communication Services), OTT messengers, and push notifications within a single suite. As the pandemic has accelerated the evolution of eCommerce and mobile commerce in particular, the introduction of chatbots, financial services, payment services and expansion into CPaaS platforms will be critical for service providers maximising their revenue. These solutions are fantastic tools for boosting the efficiency of enterprises, and valuable additions to existing messaging portfolios of mobile network operators.
Future perspectives aka CPaaS market trends 2022
According to a recent whitepaper by Juniper Research, there are clear opportunities in the CPaaS space beyond merely providing communication services. According to Juniper, financial and eCommerce services are the key additions CPaaS providers should be looking to implement within the next three years to offer a unique selling point over competitors.
Let us have a closer look at the services above and determine, how brands and services providers can step up their CPaaS game in the near future.
The slow but steady advent of RCS and RBM (RCS Business Messaging) brings new opportunities to the mobile payments market, as the technology combines a visually and functionally rich environment with built-in payment capabilities that make it a perfect medium for conversational commerce. However, to facilitate payments over RBM, RCS will need to adhere to payments legislation such as EU’s PSD2 (Payments Services Directive). This directive ensures the provision of Open APIs to enable the sharing of account details and lets third-party vendors use these details to initiate payments. Critically, it also requires all payments to be subject to SCA (Strong Customer Authentication), which enforces the multi-factor authentication process.
Customer Contact-as-a-Service refers to solutions that enable brands and enterprises to run their own contact centres and manage inbound customer communications. This can be viewed as the counterpart to CPaaS services that allow inbound communications. While the pandemic has severely limited the ability of brands and enterprises to generate revenue through established channels, it has inadvertently accelerated the adoption of communication platforms.
The two-way capabilities of messengers and RCS help implement the inbound communication with the customers. However, Juniper Research believes that instilling confidence in these services must be done before significant rollouts can be accomplished.
Understanding the nuances of the customer experience
While the terms “multichannel” and “omnichannel” have become quite the buzzwords over the last couple of years, Juniper believes that the real distinction lies in the approach to customer interactions. Based on their definition, multichannel approaches are built around the requirements of the business rather than their customers. In this scenario, brands adopt the messaging formats best suited to their business needs, often making assumptions about customer preferences and requirements, which results in some potential messaging channels not being sufficiently covered.
To transition to a truly omnichannel approach, enterprises must reach customers on the platforms they use the most, which can be done by adopting a tailored CPaaS solution.
It is also vital to analyse channel fragmentation based on use cases to identify nuances in consumer perceptions of different channels. For instance, customers will feel more comfortable discussing their bank account over an application that supports brand verification and end-to-end encryption.
Customer Data Platforms
Alongside the triumphant rise of eCommerce, there has been a shift in consumer expectations, with the audience looking for personalised, tailored rewards that should be delivered quickly and seamlessly.
CDPs (Customer Data Platforms) will enable brands and enterprises to deliver a better customer experience through advanced data mining and more granular insights into consumer preferences. As communication channels become increasingly IP-based and media-rich, these data platforms will become more and more vital.
Since the transition from multichannel to omnichannel communication models will be a primary driver of this market trend, managing customer data across a multitude of channels will be a major selling point for the CPaaS platforms. According to Juniper’s experts, the integration of customer loyalty schemes can generate upselling opportunities and minimise the cost of onboarding new customers.
It is expected that by 2025, there will be nearly 58 billion digital loyalty programmes adopted by end users, rising from 40 billion in 2021. Since the convenience of having the benefits of a loyalty scheme in a digital format will be a key driver of this growth, CPaaS vendors must leverage CDPs to cater to brands’ and enterprises’ needs.
An opportunity not to be missed
By Juniper Research’s estimate, the global value of the CPaaS market will exceed $10 billion for the first time in 2022, rising from $8.6 billion in 2021, and the contribution of rich media messaging formats will become increasingly significant in generating CPaaS vendor revenue. By 2026, over 20% of CPaaS revenues will be attributable to RCS and messengers, rising from less than 2% in 2021. Also, as SMS business messaging traffic growth slows, onboarding SMEs are willing to explore rich media messaging.
It is important to recognise that the worth of a CPaaS solution should be measured by the number of communication channels it can offer. The introduction of chatbots, financial and payment services, and expansion into other sectors will be instrumental in maximising the CPaaS provider revenues. By tying together all these different communications platforms, users will have an easier and more pleasant experience leading to larger product consumption, bringing benefits to brands and CPaaS providers alike.
To cement the success of omnichannel communication platforms, the right ecosystem needs to be created. Operators must work with brands to ensure seamless integration, and the white-label CPaaS solution providers like GMS are ready to lend a hand.