Customer engagement platforms are key to brand loyalty
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Insights: Customer engagement platforms are key to brand loyalty

Insights: Customer engagement platforms are key to brand loyalty

Here’s how Middle Eastern brands can leverage AI-driven customer engagement platforms to build loyalty and conversion during challenging conditions

Gulf Business
Kunal Badiani on b uilding brand loyalty with AI-led CEPs

In the GCC region, brands are realising the importance of customer engagement and the need for customer engagement platforms (CEPs) to drive it. With the rise of e-commerce, the region is witnessing a shift towards digital channels, making CEPs an even more critical tool. In fact, according to a report, the UAE’s e-commerce market is forecast to increase 60 per cent to more than $8bn by 2025.

Middle Eastern brands are significantly investing in CEPs

Consequently, companies in the region are investing in CEPs to ensure that they can engage with customers across all digital channels seamlessly.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CEPs help brands offer personalised experiences to customers and drive customer loyalty by identifying and engaging with loyal customers. Moreover, CEPs help brands track and analyse customer behaviour across all touch points, which helps them understand customer preferences and improve the overall customer experience.

CEPs enable brands to optimise their marketing spend

In addition to driving customer engagement, CEPs also help companies optimise their marketing spend by reducing customer acquisition costs.

By identifying and engaging with loyal customers, brands can reduce their marketing spend on acquiring new customers. Moreover, CEPs help brands drive higher conversions by providing personalised experiences to customers, which helps them make informed purchase decisions.

Economic forecasts predict that the economies of the GCC region will expand, but at a slower pace. The pace of GDP growth in the region is expected to be around 3 per cent, which is more than half of last year’s growth, and the near-term outlook is constrained by high inflation and higher borrowing costs that restrict economic activity. In such a scenario, companies have to plow in more resources to keep their customers loyal, and must aim at building stronger customer loyalty levels, higher conversion rates and better click rates while reducing acquisition costs.

AI-enabled CEPs offer enhanced customer engagement

New age digital technologies, particularly AI-enabled CEPs, offer enhanced customer engagement and help build loyalty and higher conversions. Companies must turn the shopping process into an emotional and connected experience so that shoppers are less likely to run to a competitor. They have empowered customers to look for better buying options, as they choose how they would like to engage with a brand, thus strengthening their emotional investment in the brand and bringing about stronger brand loyalty.

One of the key trends shaping the way businesses design their engagement strategies is advanced AI to automate and hyper-personalise customer experiences. Companies have to seamlessly engage with customers across all their devices and stores, giving them an omni-channel shopping experience.

Digital marketers have also discovered that customers are interested in more than just making a purchase decision. They want to arrive at informed decisions that lead to memorable customer experiences. For a marketer, this means going beyond selling a great product. These experiences come out of personalisation by brands that leverage AI and analytics to know customers’ preferences, search and purchase history, affinities and the best time to interact with them. Ultimately, such insights derived using analytics can help brands move from personalisation to hyper-personalisation and individualisation.

AI-powered smart segmentation enables brands to identify their loyal customers vis-à-vis dormant customers and design their communication accordingly. Businesses can leverage data yielded from customer interactions across multiple touchpoints and generate actionable insights to form productive engagement strategies. These not only bring them closer to their business goals but also help build a considerably large repeat customer base.

During the onboarding stage, companies using a CEP can recognise customer preferences and the channels they have used to visit the brand. These insights help brands build an early engagement strategy with the right kind of communication across the right channels. At the purchase or abandonment stage, brands can leverage AI and Smart Recommendations to prompt customers to complete their purchases. Also, companies can also understand if a customer is scouting for deals and offers and act accordingly.

At the customer return stage, companies can use attributes like recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) modelling to help them understand who their champion customers are and who is at risk of churning. With features such as AI-based smart triggers, brands can easily communicate with customers at frequent intervals and with relevant messaging.

A CEP will also enable brands to drive targeted marketing campaigns that offer higher than the usual engagement metrics that they get with other platforms. As a result of these consolidated efforts, CEP-enabled brands are well-positioned to drive customer engagement and move towards sustainable growth, even during exacting times.

CEPs have become a crucial tool for brands in the GCC region to drive customer engagement, build loyalty and higher conversions, especially during turbulent times. As digital channels become more critical, CEPs offer brands the ability to engage with customers seamlessly across all touchpoints and provide personalised experiences.

Companies that invest in CEPs are well-positioned to drive sustainable growth and build customer loyalty, even during challenging times.

Kunal Badiani is regional head at MoEngage – Middle East, Africa and Turkey.


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