Hetarth Patel_web
Hetarth Patel, Vice President Middle East & Africa, Americas & Asia Pacific at WebEngage Image Credit: Supplied

As the fast-moving consumer durables (FMCD) sector in the Middle East & Africa experiences rapid growth, WebEngage, a global provider of Big Data-powered & AI-driven customer engagement and retention solutions, has emerged as an unrivalled category leader. Brands in the region have increasingly prioritized creating meaningful and timely connections with consumers in the last few years, and WebEngage's solutions are transforming the way FMCD brands approach sales, marketing, and customer engagement in the Middle East & Africa. That meaningful transformation is evidenced by WebEngage’s clientele of reputed omnichannel multi-brand retailers such as Raya Corp, B.Tech, Almanea, BurhanTec, Future Store, Al Faisaliah Group, Modern Electronics, and Abdul Lateef Jaeel, as well as principal brands like Sony Middle East & Africa.

Such shifts are driving the Middle East’s FMCD market, which has grown manifold and is projected to achieve revenues of $1.7 billion this year (1) in the UAE alone; online sales are expected to account for 46.2% of that revenue. In Saudi Arabia, revenue from consumer electronics is poised to hit $1.3 billion in 2024 as the industry grows (2) at a 10.35% CAGR. These figures represent an influx of new and repeat consumers at unprecedented levels, and WebEngage’s omnichannel engagement expertise is already playing a pivotal part as brands look to engage them. Hetarth Patel, Vice President Middle East & Africa, Americas & Asia Pacific at WebEngage, pointed out the importance of consumer trust in this growth.

"We are excited to be involved in this era of hypergrowth in the Middle East & Africa,” Hetarth said. "We understand that reaching this rate of industry growth has taken tremendous effort on the brands’ part and is built on a lot of consumer trust. We aim to reshape customer retention for consumer electronics giants, some of whom are already our clients. Consumers are increasingly seeking seamless experiences, and we want to help brands cater to them through meaningful experiences and drive long-term loyalty and retention."

Traditional marketing and retention methods are increasingly becoming ineffective with a more informed and aspirational generation entering the digital space. As the canvas gets larger for brands, customer touchpoints are scattered across websites, apps, offline stores, as well as social media platforms. WebEngage’s Customer Data Platform (CDP), expertise in deep data analytics, and Big Data insights have played a crucial role in helping brands unify customer data from multiple sources, create consistent & robust user persona, and improve margins at every customer level.

The Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) enables brands to set and track user journeys and campaigns in real-time, providing invaluable insights into performance metrics and helping figure out the most optimal channels for user engagement. In essence, targeted and relevant communication will be at the heart of this new wave of FMCD growth. Insights-led personalization is vital to this, says Hetarth.

"In this FMCD landscape, having a robust omnichannel presence and acquiring deep customer insights are non-negotiable," asserts Hetarth. "The emphasis has shifted towards retaining customers through personalized experiences. Brands that prioritize personalized experiences have witnessed greater success. Once brands have a robust overview of their customer journeys, timely and accurate communications through the right channels provide big competitive advantages."

The consumer electronics industry grapples with a cart abandonment rate of about 70% on average globally. WebEngage has had notable success in bucking this trend in MEA. Sony World, which partnered with WebEngage for both the UAE and KSA markets, embraced insights-led customer engagement and marketing automation and witnessed a 100% upliftment in cart abandonment, along with 70% email opens with an average click-through rate (CTR) of 7.5%. Raya Corp, a leading consumer electronics company in Egypt, has also seen a 35% uplift in cart abandonment using WebEngage’s journey designer.

WebEngage’s solutions stack also empowered leading Kuwait-based IT solutions provider BurhanTec, which recorded an uplift of 315% in journeys, 34% in email open rate and 3% in click rate. On BurhanTec’s WiBi ecommerce platform, WebEngage’s solutions optimized cross-selling, leading to an uplift of 173% in journeys, 34% in unique open rate, 4.3% in click rate and 11% conversion rate. Those numbers are characteristic of excellent customer engagement in the FMCD space in the region.

FMCD businesses in the Middle East have increasingly embraced such opportunities to enhance their marketing efforts in recent years. Between major events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the proliferation of AI, digital marketing and customer engagement are functions that have had multiple rounds of assessments. WebEngage’s expertise in the space, shaped through changing times and long-standing partnerships with over 800 brands globally, has helped it set itself apart in the Middle East’s burgeoning FMCD space.