LONDON, Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — 89 % of businesses are planning to invest in new customer loyalty technology and approaches to improve their customers’ experience in 2024, following a turbulent year for customer retention as brands battled to retain customers amidst a spending crunch.
Loyalty marketing technology will form a key part of plans to retain and grow customer spend, with 9in 10 companies planning to revamp their existing loyalty programmes within the next three years. Almost half – 44% – said that they were not happy with their current loyalty programme.
Meanwhile, two thirds (65%) of businesses are looking to replatform their loyalty technology as part of their investment plans.
The figures are revealed in loyalty cloud platform Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024, which surveyed over 600 senior business respondents with a connection to their company’s loyalty approach, analysed more than 30.5 million customer interactions performed on its platform during 2023, and conducted qualitative interviews with 50 experts. The report was written with additional insight from VML (formerly Wunderman Thomspon), EPAM and Frog / Capgemini
Among its key findings are:
- 81% of businesses said their loyalty programmes helped them navigate rising inflation and other economic concerns in 2023
- 60% of loyalty programme owners have made significant changes to their programmes in the last two years
- 90% of businesses with a loyalty programme report a positive return on investment – the average ROI is 4.8 greater than their investment.
Zsuzsa Kecsmar, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Antavo, said: “There has been a marked shift towards customer retention in the past few years over winning new ones. As a result, an overwhelming majority of businesses are actively seeking to evolve from their legacy technology and replatform to one that will enable them to strengthen their relationships with their existing customers.
“It’s a myth that loyalty programs are a cost centre. Our report proves this: nine out of 10 companies have measured a positive ROI. Even better, the average ROI for them is 4.8 times their investment. Focusing on your most loyal customers is worth it, so it’s not surprising that twice as many companies want to invest in retention instead of acquisition.
“With around 81% saying that their loyalty programmes had helped them navigate the rise in inflation and economic concerns in 2023, it’s clear to see that investing in customer relations by way of refreshing loyalty technology is a highly strategic step for 2024,” she added.
James Baker, Head of Strategy at VML, said: “This compelling research from Antavo shows that companies are increasingly recognising the value of investing in retention over acquisition, as loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and refer others to your business. This report reframes the need for loyalty propositions to become the single connected ecosystem for the users of loyalty programs.”
“A renewed focus on customer loyalty requires investment in technology,” added Zsuzsa. There is a huge amount of potential today for hyper-personalised loyalty programmes, considering that the number of members who redeem personalised rewards is 4.3 times greater than those who redeem non-personalised rewards. Almost seven in 10 (67%) said that microtargeting, which is the process of targeting small segments of customers with tailored messages, content and loyalty offers, delivers a greater financial benefit than it costs to perform.
“In light of the rapidly changing technology landscape over the last 12 months, it’s not altogether surprising to find that so many businesses are actively looking at how they can replatform and repurpose their loyalty initiatives,” she added. “The collective investment in new technology will represent a significant economic event in 2024.”
Antavo is a Loyalty Cloud, providing best-in-class technology to manage experience-based, paid, and lifestyle loyalty programs online, in-store, or on mobile.
Antavo’s no-code, API-centric platform makes the loyalty program experience fully customizable and empowers loyalty and marketing teams to run their program internally, without IT help. The company invests 60% of its revenue into its product and issues quarterly product releases.
Antavo is a pure-play loyalty technology vendor recognized by Forrester, Gartner, Loyalty360, and is the preferred choice for loyalty consultants, agencies, and system integrators all over the world. Antavo empowers clients like KFC, La Cage, Kathmandu, Luisaviaroma and BrewDog, as well as global businesses in the travel, pharma and fashion industries. For more information, visit antavo.com.
Media contact: [email protected] ; +44(0)7867488769
Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure
ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.
Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”
Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.
Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance, Crypto.com, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.
Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”
Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”
Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.
For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit www.validationcloud.io.
Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected]
Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people
The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.
Klarna is bullish on bots.
One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.
The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.
Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”
The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.
Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”
That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.
Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.
“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”
Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.
Source: Fast Company
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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy
- Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
- Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
- KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.
Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.
This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”
In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”
Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”
By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.
The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
For more information about KSPP, visit https://www.kapsarc.org/about-the-school/.
Follow KSPP on social media:
- X: @KAPSARC_SPP
- LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy
KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit: https://www.kapsarc.org/
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