The number of chatbot messaging apps accessed globally will increase from 3.5 billion in 2022 to 9.5 billion by 2026, a new report showed on Monday.

This 169 percent growth will be driven by the increasing adoption of omnichannel retail strategies by eCommerce players and the rising integration of chatbots within messaging platforms, says Juniper research.

“Retail spend over chatbot messaging apps will account for over 50 percent of global chatbot retail spend by 2026, the report mentioned.

It predicted that the rapid development of messaging app functionalities will attract high-value online retailers to chatbot messaging apps over competing channels.

The chatbot developers should form strategic partnerships with CPaaS (Communication Platform-as-a-Service) vendors to expand the reach of their services and offer a compatible solution for enterprises exploring new messaging channels, including messaging apps and RCS (Rich Communication Services), – the report suggested.

Additionally, vendors must develop their chatbots to integrate with voice assistants to capitalize on the growth of in-home smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

By implementing these voice capabilities, chatbot vendors can maximize value proposition by encouraging voice-led conversational commerce.

The report found that the total spend over chatbot messaging apps in China will surpass $21 billion by 2026, with applications such as WeChat providing a definitive framework for chatbots that is branded for each retailer.

Additionally, as chatbot traffic grows, machine learning must be used to assess past conversations and further automate the omnichannel retail experience over chatbots.

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