Monthly News Roundup: April 2021

3 min read

How is it the end of April already? As we put the first quarter of 2021 in our rear view, here is a quick recap of the latest news in the telecoms, messaging, and mobile marketing space.

E-commerce startups see a shift from email to SMS

How many unread marketing emails do you have in your inbox? To counter email marketing fatigue, online retailers are now turning to SMS to promote new products and services, says a recent article by Digiday.

According to the article, marketers are using SMS to inform their customers about sales, conduct polls, and announce new product drops. For maximum effectiveness, marketers advise retailers to be selective about their target audience and choose their most engaged customers. Retailers should also be careful not to abuse this channel and send texts only a few times a month.

Chatbots to account for 50% of spend by 2025

More brands are incorporating chatbots into their customer engagement strategy to drive sales and improve customer satisfaction. A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total spend over conversational commerce channels will reach $290 billion by 2025; rising from $41 billion in 2021. This represents a rise of 590% over the next four years.

Chatbots are expected to process $145 billion or 50% of this spend by 2025.

Communications platforms that provide the connection between brands and end users will be crucial in increasing the adoption of conversational commerce channels, the report said.

5G technology is expected to advance mobile payments

A new Ecommerce & Retail report by Business Insider forecasts that US mobile payment volume will rise from $705.28 billion in 2019 to $2.541 trillion in 2025 across mcommerce, proximity mobile payments, and mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment.

According to the report, the bandwidth and latency advantages presented by 5G networks can help speed up payments. Additionally, the use of SIM authentication via mobile operators can further expedite this process and reduce opportunities for fraud.

Rich communication services (RCS) market is expected to reach $12.27 billion by 2027

The global rich communication services (RCS) market was pegged at $1.15 billion in 2019 and is estimated to hit $12.27 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 34.7% from 2020 to 2027, says a new report by Allied Research.

Increase in awareness about the benefits of RCS over existing OTT services, surge in number of online marketing & advertising companies among small and medium enterprises, development of voice over long term evolution technology (Vo-LTE) along with mobility service, and rise in adoption of cloud-based services for managing mobile content are driving market growth, the report said.

However, the growth of RCS is still being hindered by factors such as limited end to end encryption solutions and increasing competition over over-the-top (OTT) platforms, the report said.

Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T end their cross-carrier RCS plans

RCS rollout in the US has hit a few stumbling blocks, with three major mobile operators ending their cross-carrier RCS plans.

Announced in 2019, the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T aimed to bring carrier agnostic RCS support for Android users in the US. It would have also enabled consumers to buy services from apps. However, RCS has not taken off in the US despite receiving backing from Google.

In a statement to telco publication, Light Reading, Verizon said: “The owners of the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative decided to end the joint venture effort. However, the owners remain committed to enhancing the messaging experience for customers including growing the availability of RCS.”

Separately, T-Mobile continues to forge ahead with its RCS plans and announced a partnership with Google last year that enables it to deliver RCS to its Metro by T-Mobile prepaid customers.

GMS launched its own RCS PoC rollout in Ukraine due to our expertise there and in surrounding markets. Read more about our experience here.

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