Connectivity and new customer engagement technology has transformed the consumer journey over the previous decade. Digital engagement is now a fundamental part of the experience for customers and businesses alike, a trend further accelerated by the impacts of the pandemic period.
The transaction value of digital commerce alone is expected to reach USD5.99 trillion in 2023, a remarkable increase from the USD3.29 trillion as of 2018. The value of these Internet-enabled transactions is expected to reach almost USD9 trillion by 2028.
A look at the wider digital payments environment offers an even more compelling vision of this transformative consumer landscape, as digital remittances and mobile payments reached a transaction value of USD9.47 trillion in 2023, projected to reach an eye-catching USD14.79 trillion by 2027, as customers continue to enjoy online activation alongside traditional offline experiences.
These transaction values paint a big picture image, and one which is likely to be transformed further through the accelerating rollout of 5G technologies which further enables omnichannel experiences. 5G will itself usher in a new era of connectivity, and one which will empower business opportunities and customer journeys across the value chain. Here are 5 areas of interest to watch out for.
Omnichannel customer engagement
Consumer engagement strategy is now an increasingly hybrid approach, combining both online and offline activities. Customer research will often begin with online searches and evolve into in-person visits to stores, creating an end-to-end experience that combines digital and physical engagement.
Customers want to enjoy a continuous and unbroken experience, including buy online and pick up-in-store, reserve online and pickup in-store, and buy online, return to store, creating that seamless synergy across all environments.
5G offers a step-change in uniting customers’ experiences, ensuring seamless and speedy connectivity through that transition from fixed at-home online experience to on-the-go connectivity. That not only provides a transition period between these two locations, but also a powerful tool for brands to upgrade the retail experience in-store. This includes capabilities such as virtual augmented reality ‘try-on’ experiences, or in-depth insight through product scanning technology that offers recommendations or directs to other suitable products.
While a particular enterprise might embrace USSD and SMSC as part of their omnichannel approach, another may prefer instant messaging or mobile apps. This adaptive approach means operators can add services as and when customer needs evolve, providing a flexible but scalable path to omnichannel delivery.
SMS gateway services can offer a supporting function to enable this journey, providing a way to easily integrate customer marketing and communication and verification, enabling enterprises to optimize communication in a secure manner.
Accelerated mobile money adoption
Mobile money is on the rise, with over 1.35 billion mobile money accounts transacting over USD2mil per minute according to research by the GSMA. 5G connectivity will further empower this opportunity, as expanding network coverage encourages more users to leverage this technology.
With 44% of all shoppers, and 63% of millennials, noting they wouldn’t go shopping without using their mobile phone, it’s clear that the mobile is now a core part of consumer journeys. Alongside their remarkable potential to empower omnichannel engagement, they also offer a fundamental transaction tool. Our Mobile Money solution is designed to support this landscape, ensuring a safe mobile money ecosystem with robust risk management and fraud protection empowers providers and users.
Neural Technologies’ flexible USSD and SMS solutions also offer an effective, adaptive approach to enable this payment journey, and provides a supporting solution to complete that omnichannel consumer journey to finalize payment in a simple, user-friendly way.
5G provides a platform for retailers to move beyond static, queued checkout experiences, to provide a dynamic transaction opportunity that occurs as and when customers wish it.
Consumers today expect frictionless digital experiences, with even the more reluctant demographics increasingly digital-ready. Research by UNCTAD shows the average share of Internet users across 66 countries who made purchases online increased from 53% in 2019 to 60% in 2020/21. This is evidenced by the fact that 75% of consumers tried new shopping behavior during the pandemic according to research by McKinsey.
Personalization is now a key part of our digitally-enabled customer experience, as everything from e-commerce platforms to gym memberships build in data-driven insight to serve customers a unique offering that fits their own needs. Research by McKinsey shows that 71% of consumers now expect personalization.
Connecting that digital personalization expectation with the solutions served to customers will be further empowered by 5G, as the always-on connectivity provides a pathway that bridges the entire customer ecosystem.
Connected technologies offer the chance to seamlessly integrate personalized communication and in-store frictionless checkout experience to provide the best of both online and offline experiences. Neural Technologies’ Signaling technology can enable USSD gateway solutions which can help support this end-to-end communication with customers around the world, enabling a holistic approach that reduces pain points while improving communication touchpoints for customers and enterprises.
Unified customer experience
Personalized and frictionless checkouts are part of a wider transformation towards unified customer experience, ensuring consistent communication across all customer touchpoints. 5G provides a powerful connector that can help maintain this unified journey, with a digital business support system with end-to-end connectivity across shopping, e-billing, help and support, IoT and more.
Neural Technologies Data Integration suite of products can help integrate that data in a smooth, seamless way. It includes powerful Orchestration solutions that can ensure a collected data workflow with clear insight across the customer journey, as well as sophisticated Mediation technology capable of running and digitized data processing scenarios, easily integrating both new and legacy data systems. That ability to adapt to changing consumer dynamics is critical in delivering a unified customer experience, maintaining clear data oversight across multiple touchpoints.
Enhanced risk management along consumer journeys
The increasingly integrated customer journey will necessitate an equally robust and integrated risk management process. Telecom operators and enterprises will have to deal with growing volumes of data, as omnichannel transactions, frictionless checkouts, personalized delivery, and increasing mobile money adoption create actionable customer data at an unprecedented rate.
This data shouldn’t be viewed as a burden, but an impressive opportunity to enhance both customer service and risk management. It can help provide a powerful platform for effective revenue assurance, upgrading your risk management with valuable data-driven insight.
Our Revenue and Business Assurance product is designed to seamlessly integrate with both legacy and new data systems, and provides an adaptive, scalable solution that is perfect for the dynamic, 5G-enabled ecosystem. It is designed to Capture, Prevent, and Recover, quickly identifying discrepancies and providing ongoing safeguards for both revenue streams and customer experience.
Preventing inefficiencies and revenue leakage isn’t the only critical part of securing this landscape. Robust Fraud Management is also required to ensure that companies fraud risk does not increase along with the expanding threat area of this multi-channel, multi-touchpoint consumer landscape. Our Optimus Fraud Management offers customizable fraud protection that meets the unique needs of an organization’s ecosystem, enabling fraud detection from application through to transaction monitoring.
5G promises to transform an already rapidly-evolving enterprise landscape, and the right protections are vital to ensuring that revenue and customers are protected, helping unlock the greatest possible value from this transformative environment.