Cloud spend rises as APAC brands go conversational on CX

Companies are moving from traditional transaction-level experiences to relationship-based ones as digital native customers set higher expectations and exercise greater control over how they engage with brands, according to Infobip.

The global cloud communications platform commissioned an IDC InfoBrief that highlights the rising role of AI-powered conversational commerce and omnichannel communication platforms in the Asia-Pacific region.

With the shift in customer communication preferences, there is a noticeable increase in conversational interactions. Recent statistics demonstrate that brands adopting an omnichannel approach and delivering an end-to-end experience have higher chances of enhancing loyalty and customer lifetime value. 

Capitalising on the advancements in artificial intelligence, conversational commerce has gained significant traction among businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, using Communication Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) as its core foundation.

Conversational commerce relies on CPaaS as a crucial tool, empowering organisations to seamlessly integrate real-time communication features (such as voice, text, video, instant messaging, and social media) into their internal and external applications using developer-friendly API as building blocks. 

Software as a Solution (SaaS) tools, such as smart chatbots powered by the cloud, are also on the rise as organisations recognise their inherent benefits to deliver personalised interactions and improved customer experiences.

The power of CPaaS and SaaS-based solutions enable businesses to provide a seamless, customer journey that’s visible across multiple touchpoints. This reflects a general pattern among businesses in Asia Pacific adopting a more conversational theme with their customers to gain benefits such as increased ROI and customer engagement. 

Conversational commerce empowers local businesses to branch out globally through automated messaging and cloud customer support.

“By aligning their strategies with conversational commerce, businesses can proactively meet customer expectations, enhance engagement, and establish long-lasting relationships. This transformative approach empowers organisations to stay ahead in a dynamic marketplace,” said Velid Begovic, VP of revenue at Infobip.

Despite a few countries averaging 50%-59% in CPaaS usage, 70% of organisations in APAC plan to increase communication platform spending over 2023-24 in order to provide unique customer experiences to the region’s growing social media users — who are mostly young, active, and aware of the power of their own influence.

Singapore and Indonesia businesses aim to bring about enhanced customer experiences and create new revenue streams, while those in China, Thailand, and the Philippines are more motivated to improve and mobilise their business processes, as well as look towards domestic and international business expansion. 

This is likely due to the latter countries’ overall higher adoption rate of CPaaS solutions (above 60%) and booming retail/eCommerce segments.

“CPaaS solutions are increasingly recognized as crucial catalysts for enabling conversational commerce experiences,” said Nikhil Batra, research director for telecommunications at IDC Asia-Pacific.

“In fact, 27% of businesses in Asia Pacific are actively partnering with CPaaS platform providers to deliver contextualized customer interactions that not only boost profitability but also foster emotionally fulfilling engagements,” said Batra.

Platforms with omnichannel capabilities are ideal as they are essential for building meaningful, high-quality customer engagement. Easy integration capabilities are also necessary because these ensure better customer experience and compliance with security and audit policies. 

Finally, CPaaS platform providers must be agile enough to respond to new use cases and tech that can help drive business growth.