Kenya’s fast-growing eCommerce industry is leveraging an omnichannel retail approach to enhance CX and drive growth
By Emma Mugo, Customer Success Manager at Infobip Kenya.
Retailers across the African continent are increasingly leveraging technology to drive sales and better engage with customers, with Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya accounting for more than half of all online shoppers in Africa in 2017.
According to Statista’s digital market outlook, revenue in Kenya’s eCommerce market was projected to reach US$1.093 billion this year, with user penetration estimated to reach 29% and expected to hit 49.1% by 2024.
These predictions were made with no foresight of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the adoption of online shopping. Despite this rapid growth of the overall eCommerce market in the country, there remains a need for better brand and consumer communication, as well as improved communication platforms.
While the growth of Kenya’s eCommerce industry was – to a large extent – facilitated by the advent of payment gateways such M-Pesa, which simplified the process of transacting and purchasing goods online, the customer experience (CX) has not been ideal.
Essentially, this is an area that has not yet been optimised for efficiency and effectiveness, and communication between customers and businesses remains fragmented. Consumers can reach out to most brands via channels such as voice, email and SMS, yet this communication is not unified across these disparate platforms.
Move towards an omnichannel approach
Hence, the advancement of the country’s eCommerce industry is also seeing a steady move towards a unified omnichannel approach in retail, which includes both online and physical outlets. The ultimate goal is that CX should be the same across both online and physical ecosystems, and across the various customer touchpoints in both environments.
The omnichannel retail approach has brought about growth in multichannel communication, allowing businesses to interact with consumers across different platforms such as chat apps, SMS, email and voice.
Although this has improved communication between brands and consumers, it also created a unique problem, as companies would interact with customers without an interaction history, leading to a duplication of responses and resulting in inefficiency and poor CX.
It has become apparent that having a unified view of previous customer interaction across all channels is crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction, and this is leading to a steady uptake in Contact Centres as a Service (CcaaS) solutions.
CCaaS not only provides communication across customers’ preferred channels but also allows companies to collect data and unify it across the various communication platforms and integrate it into their internal systems. This provides companies’ sales, marketing and communication departments with a single view of a consumer journey.
Driving sales through better insights
A CCaaS platform, underpinned by an omnichannel approach, does not only allow brands to serve their customers better through a customised CX but can also be beneficial to an organisation’s salesforce. Better insights into customer behaviour and data collection can be leveraged effectively to bolster sales by facilitating appropriate and relevant communication with individual consumers.
Also, a CCaaS solution can automate various communication processes such as event-triggered campaigning and location-based push messaging. In recent times, there has been a rise in automated responses from businesses via chatbots, as well as communication flows facilitated by events across various customer touchpoints.
Automation of customer communication can ensure quick response times to queries and short resolution times, as well as status updates on demand. Additionally, the consumer can be engaged based on the events in different touchpoints, such as online cart abandonment or milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries through marketing engagement technology also underpinned by CPaaS.
Enhanced CX fuels e-commerce growth with CCaaS playing a central role to achieving customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty. An omnichannel approach, driven by CCaaS, allows businesses to collect data, enabling them to categorise their consumers for targeted marketing and provide services and products based knowing the customer.