First impressions count: bank onboarding customer experience

Documents printed – Check.
ID – Check.
Paper application form complete – Check.
Arriving at the branch to be told you’re missing a document – Check.
Another lunch hour used up – Check.

As defined by Forrester, customer experience is “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.”  Therefore, when great effort has been placed on attracting new customers, it is of paramount importance to ensure the onboarding journey is seamless to succeed in creating a positive and lasting impression.

Moreover, customers are now comparing their experiences with digital leaders from other industries. No industry has been immune to customers ever-rising expectations, which includes the banking industry.

This article aims to uncover what has expedited customer experience expectations in banking and how banks can respond, with a focus on the customer onboarding journey.

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How ecommerce could benefit from Libra cryptocurrency?

Who has not abandoned an online purchase because of payment issues? Untrusted payment page, hefty currency conversion charges, slow loading time, refused card… in a world where it is all about immediacy and convenience, these are some of the numerous situations where consumers drop at checkout, contributing to the 69.57% average cart abandonment rate.

This is where Libra could help. Recently revealed by Facebook, Libra is a new currency – a cryptocurrency – which mission is to become a global currency backed by a financial infrastructure that could empower billions of merchants and individuals.

In this article, we will quickly explain how Libra works, and more importantly what it changes and the benefits it could bring to customers and retailers alike.

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Personalisation: how retailers can get their piece of the pie

Middle East customers are craving online personalisation

As more and more e-commerce websites are emerging in the region, consumers are increasingly turning to digital to search and purchase products – UAE, KSA and Egypt consumers spend in excess of 7 hours online daily; 3 of those being on social media according to Hootsuite(1). Digital is increasingly  changing customer expectation – in the UAE for example 89% of consumers are stating that they are more likely to buy from e-commerce platforms that personalise content to a unique user(2).

From browsing, search and purchase history through to wish lists and reviews, consumers leave a wealth of precious behavioral information that should be leveraged to create highly differentiated and rewarding shopping experiences. Yet in real life, Middle Eastern consumers are quite frequently exposed to irrelevant and poorly executed personalisation experiences.

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How AI is transforming retail

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence or AI; this umbrella of technologies that is able to emulate and sometimes replace human cognitive performance. In fact AI is already largely present in everyday digital interactions. Think of voice recognition, maps itinerary calculation, stock trading and gaming to name a few.

In retail, Artificial Intelligence is primarily being used by market leaders to personalise marketing engagement, optimise supply chain operations and costs and enhance customer experience across channels. Let’s walk through a few examples.

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Earlier this year, news that Amazon had acquired threw the Middle East retail scene into turmoil, for the e-commerce giant’s hunger for growth is legendary. Yet over the ensuing months, business has more or less returned to normal. As we consider how Amazon changed the face of India’s e-commerce landscape forever – despite a late entry onto the local scene – and given the many similarities seen between India and Middle East market conditions, we could well be witnessing the calm before the storm.

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Is noon on its way to deliver the best ecommerce experience in the GCC?, the $1 billion e-commerce joint venture founded by Mohamed Alabbar, was announced in November 2016 as a ‘future-focused company which is the biggest online shopping platform ever seen in the region’. Its launch at the time was expected in January 2017.

Since then, noon acquired JadoPado in May and appointed Faraz Khalid (formerly of Namshi) as CEO in July following Emaar’s acquisition of 51% of Meanwhile, Amazon completed their acquisition of in July.

On the evening of the 30th September the long awaited went live followed by a dozen announcements in the regional press. By the end of the next day, The National even published a price comparison benchmark with their direct rival

We visited the website of this new marketplace with a lot of excitement and asked ourselves ‘Is up to market expectations?’

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Driving change in omnichannel retail

In our article Meeting the omnichannel expectations of your customers, we talked about the business loss that may result from lack of in-store adoption of the ecommerce channel and how it could affect the customer perception of your brand as a whole.

More recently, we have been talking to several Middle East retail groups who have taken the plunge into ecommerce, but are realising multichannel is not being so readily adopted throughout their organisations.

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Report: The UAE E-commerce Fashion Landscape

How brick & mortar fashion brands sell online in the UAE

Whilst the store remains the favorite destination for apparel shopping, digital is increasingly influencing 
in-store sales and more and more brands such as Marks & Spencer, Nordstrom and Net-A-Porter are selling online in the UAE.
As online shopping is increasingly being adopted by UAE consumers, we have reviewed the country’s 
e-commerce fashion landscape.

Our analysis of the e-commerce presence of 
450 brands in the UAE revealed five main groups. In this report, we delve into each one of these models in more details and share insights about their benefits and disadvantages for retailers.

Download the full report

Meeting the omnichannel expectations of your customers

From department stores through to grocers and mall operators, omnichannel is rapidly gaining momentum in the MENA region. As more and more retailers are evaluating which way to go in the age of digital and customer-centricity, we highlight in this short article the key differentiators between siloed-multichannel and fully transformational omnichannel approaches.

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Digital interactions driving store conversion & sales

In our previous article, we reviewed some of the digital tools used by retailers to drive store footfall and customer engagement with their products and brands.
In the second of this 2-part series, we will now look at examples of digital technologies that can be used in store to drive conversion levels and sales.

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