By Adam Alalwan, Engagement Director, Monstarlab Saudi Arabia
With Vision 2030 well underway and Saudi’s events calendar jam-packed over the coming months, Adam Alalwan, Engagement Director in Saudi Arabia for Monstarlab, examines how digital customer experience could be at the forefront of the country’s initiatives.
Saudi Arabia’s Emergence as a Digital Destination
When looking over the last seven years since Saudi Arabia announced Vision 2030, now more than ever, we are seeing the country’s vision come to life. With Saudi Arabia making a concerted effort to diversify its economy and increase its local and global tourism, the country has seen countless events, initiatives, and projects throughout the past several years, and plenty more are scheduled in the foreseeable future.
Riyadh Season was back this past year, firmly putting Saudi on the world stage yet again, and is expecting to attract more than 20 million visitors. Qiddiya is a future destination promising to deliver some of the world’s most innovative and immersive experiences. AlUla, one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula, is being transformed into one of the most extraordinary destinations (just search Alicia Keys’ concert that happened this past month). Last but not least, the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix took place in Jeddah for the first time and saw the world’s most prominent artists and athletes travel to Saudi Arabia.
Needless to say, Saudi Arabia is an exciting place to be, and every month has new projects and initiatives for people to look forward to. The increase of local and international tourism is allowing digitisation to emerge as a key player in the country’s transformation. The potential for utilising technology to enhance customer experience is endless. This is especially the case when there is a technology partner looking at the customer’s journey from the moment awareness is sparked to the final stage when the customer becomes a loyal user.
The country is undergoing one of its most exciting periods to date, and the development and transformation has been phenomenal. People are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the country climbing to new heights at an astronomical rate. We are seeing digital solutions being created each month to support these efforts, and in an attempt to help businesses track, measure, and achieve their KPIs, there is a growing need now more than ever to pair these initiatives with a customer experience partner that enhances the end to end digital journey.
Challenges with Building Digital Products
Having previously worked in marketing and product-led companies, I’ve noticed several scenarios happening far too often:
- Products are industrialised to market with little validation, potentially leading to business objectives being compromised.
- Products are delayed in getting to market because of the lack of product and tech experience within that business. Often the client’s vision doesn’t get implemented in the product’s launch at all, which can be very concerning.
- Products are launched to the market, and crucial data points are left unmonitored due to the silos that vendors tend to work in.
It’s imperative that when considering a strategy for launching a product, someone (ideally a well-qualified agency) needs to take the lead on delivering a brilliant end-to-end digital experience. From seeing a social post advertising an event to arriving on the website to buying tickets, and then the experience at the event itself – it all needs to be seamless. This is why harnessing digital customer experience and using the right technology is crucial. The customer journey starts from the point of awareness, all the way to the experience itself.
Examples of Digitising the Customer Experience
Now that we’ve had a brief overview of what the digital customer journey entails, let’s talk about the types of digital solutions that could be implemented. Real-life examples of digital solutions relevant to Saudi Arabia’s initiatives could include:
- Notification Triggering: Getting a notification when your favourite artist’s show is about to start at a concert or when a ride at Qiddiya theme park doesn’t have a long queue.
- Augmented Reality Way-finding: Navigating within a venue to get to the intended destination.
- Crowd Hotspots: Knowing which places at the event or tourist destination are less busy, so you know the best time to visit it.
- Ticketing Journey: Having a seamless ticketing journey, from arriving on the website, to purchasing the ticket, to having it appear in your phone’s wallet.
- Experience Summary: Similar to Spotify’s end-of-year wrapped campaigns, using data to personalise experiences and reveal to customers where they spent most of their time at an event.
The list of potential solutions is endless. Personalised experiences are what customers are after these days, and having an experience transformation partner as part of projects can help businesses achieve this. The key is to study the intended customer journey and identify potential pain points and opportunities where digital solutions could offer support.
Case study of a digitised customer experience
Our work for Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. As Singapore prepared to come out of the COVID-19 lockdown, Monstarlab worked with the country’s biggest tourist attraction to provide a seamless visitor experience that requires zero human interaction. Combining augmented reality way-finding with contactless ticketing, shopping, and parking, we built a native mobile app that inspires confidence in tourists.
With new local and international events being added to Saudi Arabia’s roster each year, such as the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that just passed, there’s a growing need to have a customer experience partner that creates a seamless and memorable customer journey digitally and physically.
Saudi Arabia is on an exciting journey of digitisation, and with Monstarlab originally being a mobile-first business, our specialty stems from building products that customers would want to use. We are excited to kick off our business here and be part of the country’s journey in creating impactful customer experiences.
Monstarlab is a digital experience partner focused on accelerating growth for ambitious clients. We achieve this through our human-centred design and engineering expertise, our open partnership approach and our extensive network of global talent.