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BlogPost 105583826297 Leveraging Conversational Marketing Automation this Ramadan//https://www.unifonic.com/en/resources/leveraging-marketing-automation-this-ramadan
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Leveraging Conversational Marketing Automation this Ramadan

As a time for reflection, connection, and communication, there’s no better time to create meaningful conversations with your customers than at Ramadan.

The significant rise in online activity during the holy month allows brands to connect with customers. Time spent exploring different categories during Ramadan is 72% higher than at other times. Additionally, 71% of shoppers agree it’s easier to complete their Ramadan shopping with personalized product and gift suggestions and feel more connected to a business or brand through business messaging, citing personalization as the critical factor influencing their purchase decision.

Brands need to ensure they are present throughout the expanding digital landscape with highly personalized, coordinated, and automated messages across platforms to manage timing and increased volume. For example, people stay up later during Ramadan and have more downtime, with peak hours of social media activity between 6pm to 7pm and 12am to 4am. Not exactly perfect times for most conventional businesses to respond to customer needs. But an ideal opportunity to employ established and emerging conversational marketing techniques. 

In fact, conversational solutions that offer personal and automated business messaging over apps like WhatsApp are vital in building instant connections that lead to lasting relationships. For example, Unifonic retail customers who sent messages over WhatsApp in 2023 saw customer engagement increase by up to 280% during Ramadan compared to the previous period.

Conversational Marketing during Ramadan   

While connections with friends, family, and the spiritual self will always be at the center of Ramadan, all connections are increasingly influenced by the growing complexity and sophistication of digital interactions. And just like any good, lasting relationship, brand relationships are not about a single encounter or a one-time conversation. Instead, it’s an ongoing commitment; a give and take between customer and organizations over a significant period of time, across many different encounters. 

In 2024, customers expect to be able to engage with a brand across multiple platforms and devices. They expect the experience to be entertaining, meaningful, and seamless. In fact, 73% of customers now use multiple channels during their shopping experiences. On the surface, that can be daunting for teams with limited capacity and budget constraints. However, it is getting easier and easier to build and maintain integrated campaigns through omni-channel marketing. Undoubtedly, this integrated approach is paying dividends, with customers who shop across multiple channels returning a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop through a single channel. 

Further, omnichannel communication aims to consistently engage consumers in ongoing conversations across platforms rather than through one-way messaging on a single platform. It’s based entirely on what the consumer wants and needs, when they like it and need it, and drawing them into a back-and-forth that offers value. This may involve any combination of interactions, but the ultimate goal is to create an ongoing dialogue between the organization and the customer. 

Conversational marketing opens direct, meaningful channels of dialogue with current and prospective customers - allowing immediate and seamless cross-channel engagement thanks to automation and AI. These interactions are ideal for helping organizations meet customer demands anywhere and anytime.  The more a customer converses with a brand, the more that brand can learn and then customize the customer experience. The intelligence gathered through those conversational interactions is proving to be extraordinarily valuable. In fact, conversational marketing can increase conversion rates by up to 82%.
 
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WhatsApp: THE MOST POPULAR MESSAGING PLATFORM IN THE WORLD 

Chatbots and mobile messaging are particularly powerful for creating meaningful customer experiences and sparking conversation during Ramadan.

WhatsApp is the most used social media messaging app in Saudi Arabia, with an astounding 92% of people reporting that they utilize it. Year after year, the number of messages sent on WhatsApp throughout Ramadan is on a steady rise, with 35% of shoppers spending more time using WhatsApp during Ramadan.

The level of sophistication provided by chatbots continues to rise, driving customer satisfaction. For example, if a customer has a specific question blocking them from completing a purchase, they don’t necessarily need to wait to speak with an agent. Instead, growingly sophisticated chatbot services offer the right answers at the right time in order to complete the customer journey. In fact, 57% of consumers are interested in chatbots because of how fast they can respond, and 47% would buy items directly from a chatbot. But that is far from the only way WhatsApp can help foster customer relationships during Ramadan.
 
2023 Business Messaging Trends

Intelligent businesses drive higher conversion rates by redirecting potential customers from traditional promotional channels to WhatsApp to take advantage of higher engagement rates over Ramadan in 2023.
 
    • Charities experienced a modest increase in business messaging of up to 15% during Ramadan - mainly focused on donation drives. 
    • Meanwhile, banking and finance saw a significant increase of 50% due to additional Ramadan and Eid-related messages.
    • Education experienced a surge of 103% during Ramadan and Eid due to messages related to these occasions. 
    • Healthcare saw an increase of up to 150% during Ramadan and Eid due to the greetings sent.
    • Retail and e-commerce remained consistent in terms of business messaging volume throughout the year. However, customer engagement saw a significant increase of up to 280% during Ramadan, which was attributed to the conversions and chatbot conversations that ensued after the messages were sent.

WhatsApp can be used in endless ways to engage with customers during Ramadan.

These include: 

Sharing special offers: During Ramadan and Eid there is a significant surge in shoppers hunting for deals in the retail space. Organizations can push those customized deals to qualified consumers by connecting with consumers via direct messaging.  

Sharing social upliftment initiatives and events: There was a 190% rise in searches related to mental health and wellness during Ramadan in 2021. By creating WhatsApp campaigns based around feel-good or humorous content connected to product or service offerings, brands can surely benefit. 

Sending abandoned cart reminders and back-in-stock alerts: Shoppers looking for new products tend to save them in their carts while continuing to scroll online. Using WhatsApp to remind customers they’ve left items in their cart without checking out is a gentle and effective way to nudge buyers through the customer journey.

Providing advanced customer service opportunities. WhatsApp chatbot is particularly adept at handling customer concerns whenever or however they present themselves. People have no patience when it comes to getting the answers they want, and chatbot services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

These are just a few examples of the opportunities to leverage direct messaging during Ramadan. The only real limit regarding WhatsApp and customer engagement during this vital time of year is imagination. However, there is no doubt that creative, personalized approaches to customer experience during Ramadan and Eid through conversational marketing are paying off:
 

 

BUILDING BRAND LOYALTY WITH SOCIAL SOLUTIONS DURING RAMADAN 

WhatsApp isn’t the only one in on the fact. Most digital platforms see significant increases in activity over Ramadan.

  • YouTube viewership increased by 25% during Ramadan in the Middle East and North Africa, with viewers spending an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day watching videos.
  • Facebook and Instagram usage increased by 18% and 15% with Facebook Live broadcasts surging 58% during Ramadan.
  • In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), social media usage increased by 47%, with an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes spent on social media per day. Meanwhile, social media usage in Saudi Arabia grew by 30%, with an average of 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Personalization is cited by 40% of shoppers as a critical reason for making a purchase decision, and the impact is seen across social platforms, with 64% of shoppers purchasing from personalized ads on Meta technologies and 2 in 3 shoppers enjoying personalized shopping experiences through Meta technologies such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

And the experience on those platforms during Ramadan has lasting impacts on customer experience and brand loyalty. For example, nearly 60% of shoppers felt more connected to a brand after seeing Ramadan or Eid content on Facebook or Instagram. However, companies unprepared to deal with the rise in online activities over Ramadan risk more than opportunities for increased revenue; they risk losing their customers to savvy competitors.  

Customer experience continues to be among the single most important factors in determining brand loyalty. Consumers do not want to have to wait or navigate complex buying journeys as part of their shopping experience. Upwards of 80% of Saudi shoppers, for example, say they are loyal to specific retailers over Ramadan, but that just one negative experience can impact that. And around 65% of people do, in fact, experience challenges with online shopping. This means the door is open for customers to walk out during Ramadan. 42% of Saudi consumers say they will try a new brand if a product ships from there faster. Meanwhile, 36% will do the same if an item is available elsewhere first, and 33% will do the same if a product is less expensive.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A WELL-DESIGNED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AT RAMADAN 

If brands are focusing on one-off, single-channel engagements during Ramadan, they’re very likely missing opportunities. From the first point of contact to opening a package of newly purchased items delivered to a home, brands need to be prepared and willing to engage customers appropriately at any moment;  aware of the joys and pitfalls of the customer experience at every step. For example:

PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS 

Using QR codes in traditional print media or social media campaigns provides a more continuous and robust customer experience by allowing customers to click through to WhatsApp chat services, helping spark a conversation with new leads.

NEW CUSTOMERS 

In any new relationship, there can be moments of hesitation. And when a new customer gets to the point of purchase, it’s possible they could get cold feet. Sending reassuring, personalized reminders through a favorite social channel or messaging service is very effective. This can be related to an abandoned cart, when a popular item is back in stock,  or even when recommending complimentary products. It shows care and attention while returning the brand to the top of mind.

EXISTING CUSTOMERS 

Courting perspective and new customers is exciting, but nothing is more valuable to a business than the customers and clients they already have. Continuing to nurture that relationship by ensuring the journey from purchase to delivery is seamless with end-to-end communication is critical to maximizing the lifetime value of a customer. That includes a robust after-sales process, with easy return or issue resolutions, which a self-service chatbot is highly effective at.

Should an organization manage to create and deliver a solid customer experience with conversational marketing, the benefits are myriad during Ramadan. This includes driving more value from ads, extending conversations beyond a one-way message, less expensive campaigns, better customer satisfaction rates post-sale, building better long relationships with customers, and higher overall conversion rates.
 
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