According to KSA industry experts, Mobile technology is changing the way Saudi Arabia does business, and has grown into the most effective communications channel for local, regional, and international companies trying to tap into the limitless potential presented by the Kingdom’s prosperous market.
Businesses across the country are fastly beginning to understand the importance of developing the right message and ensuring that it reaches the right audience at the right time, all made possible with the advent of Mobile technology and user-friendly online applications.
According to Google’s recent KSA ‘Moments that Matter’ study, this level of relevance makes a real difference – a whopping 88% of online consumers in Saudi Arabia have taken action after seeing a message from a brand that is relevant to them.
“With one of the world’s highest smartphone penetration rates, the Kingdom offers a thriving online environment with enormous marketing possibilities that both businesses and consumers can benefit from,” said Jamal Al Bugmi, General Manager of axiom KSA.
“Customers looking for information can find what they need with a click of a button, giving businesses an opportunity to reach their audience at a critical moment in the consumer decision-making process. Businesses that want to reap the benefits of this rapidly growing online community must quickly adapt to ‘The Data Age’, one characterized by the ability to collect massive repositories of detailed information on individual interests, purchasing habits, and overall online behavior.”
Figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) show that Saudi Arabia spending on Business Intelligence software tools is expected to surpass USD 89 million in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4%.
Meanwhile, according to the Google study, 80% of consumers in Saudi Arabia who researched products on their smartphones have thought about purchasing a brand they would not normally consider because of relevant information available on their device at that time. On top of this, 76% actually make a purchase.
What the study refers to as an “I-want-to-buy moment” goes well beyond online purchases, and also takes place in-store. Shoppers are keen to make use of instant advice to help them make the right decision. According to the report, 38% of smartphone users in Saudi Arabia say that the last time they used their device while in a store, the information they found online about a product or service helped them choose what to buy.
However, mobile technology can not only help Saudi businesses connect with consumers when they are making a purchasing decision, but also build lasting relationships that will help place brands at the top-of-mind for the future.
“By bonding with customers in critical moments – whether they are trying to figure out how to do something, watch a video about a topic that interests them, or merely seeking information, businesses can influence the way customers perceive their brand at an early stage,” says Al Bugmi.
“At axiom, for example, we have a number of online platforms where customers can connect with us – be it our official website or our social media pages. And, of course, immediate response is key, as the online environment is fleeting. For example, on Facebook we aim to respond within 10-15 minutes of a query.”
“We are also in the process of developing a dedicated smartphone app that will not only enable customers to make online purchases, but also give them access to our range aftercare services with the touch of a button. These are just a few of the many different ways axiom is quickly and seamlessly adapting to ‘The Data Age,” adds Al Bugmi.
Figures from the Google study show that although most have a rough idea of what they want to find, just 18% of Saudi Arabian consumers researching on a smartphone have pinned down the exact brand or product when they start their journey online – presenting enormous opportunities for Saudi businesses to shape preferences and generate awareness about their products and services.
In addition, 82% of web users in Saudi Arabia use YouTube when trying to find out how to do something – presenting yet another relationship building opportunity.
“The possibilities are endless,” says Al Bugmi. “What it all boils down to is a business’ ability to create relevant experiences for existing and prospective customers, who are increasingly living online. Companies that are able to achieve this will be sowing the seeds for extraordinary success.”