The Industry Outlook Is Rosy, and We Have the Numbers to Prove It
Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising tensions around the world, a global recession, supply chain issues, staffing shortages, higher prices for everything, and soaring crime rates, 2022 has not been one of our best years. It’s been a real downer—physically, mentally, and emotionally, to say the least.
Still, there are a few bright spots remaining in the world today. Chief among them is the heightened pace at which companies across industries and geographies and of all sizes and shapes are adopting CRM technologies, a subject that is near and dear to all our hearts. In researching global market conditions for this, our 21st annual awards package, we found a market that is on pace to top $170 billion in just eight years, up from a current valuation of almost $62 billion.
Additionally, across each one of the technology sectors that we cover in this issue, not only is the worldwide market valuation rising, but the upsurge is expected to continue for years to come. Some sectors are projected to do very well in the next few years—the market for customer data platforms, for example, is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.6 percent. Growth will be much less in other sectors—the market for contact center outsourcing, for example, is only expected to expand at a 5.6 percent CAGR. Still, all sectors are up, which is good news for anyone who makes a living in this industry.
Yes, we still work in a thriving industry that’s responded and adapted to a seemingly endless stream of crises and upheavals with a tremendous amount of innovation. Vendors continue to find new ways to incorporate artificial intelligence into their products, new pathways for customers and companies to interact, and new uses for their most tried-and-true technologies. We single out five of these companies as Conversation Starters this year, but the entire industry, with very few exceptions, has embraced an innovation mind-set.
This will be clear as you read through the Industry Leader award write-ups, in which we identify the top five vendors in 11 technology sectors covering sales, marketing, and customer service. In compiling these lists, we followed a simple formula. We asked our panel of analysts and consultants two simple questions: If a client asked you to recommend a CRM solution in this category, which five would you put on your short lists and why?
You’ll see a lot of familiar names. Some top vendors climbed to their leadership positions years ago and stay there year after year by continually building new products, improving existing ones, and making strategic acquisitions to add capabilities. You’ll also see a few new vendors that have either advanced to the leader board for the first time or returned after coming up short for a few years.
For this year’s awards, we added an entirely new category, e-commerce platforms, because digital transformation has just been such a driving force for so much business today. Online shopping provided a practical alternative as retail stores closed and people stayed home looking at computer screens during COVID-19 lockdowns, and that is likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future.
Global e-commerce sales totaled nearly $5 trillion in 2021 and are expected to surpass $7.4 trillion by 2025. And Morgan Stanley in June reported that global e-commerce rose from 15 percent of total retail sales in 2019 to 21 percent in 2021.
With so much money at stake, it’s no surprise that companies are turning to emerging CRM technologies and integrations to help them manage complex digital sales and marketing opportunities and overcome slow site loading, bad navigation, and irrelevant search results and product recommendations. Fact.MR values the current e-commerce software market at $3.8 billion and expects a 12.5 percent CAGR through 2032, when it is expected to hit $12.4 billion. It is one of the highest-value technology segments in the CRM world today, and so we couldn’t ignore it any longer.
If you’re in the market for new CRM technologies, we hope you’ll look into the vendors we’ve highlighted. You likely will not go wrong with any of them.
Leonard Klie is the editor of CRM magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.