Coca-Cola Pilots with Reply.ai to Drive Consumer Engagement in sub-Saharan Africa
Reply.ai, the AI-powered customer experience platform, has landed a pilot with Coca-Cola during their participation in The BridgeCommunity by Coca-Cola.
The startup enables businesses to scale personalized, 1:1 communication with their customers across messaging and voice channels, in any market or language, all while maintaining the highest security standards. Reply.ai works with Samsung, Kia, and Ryanair to facilitate their B2C communication via chatbots and is the only startup to make Forrester Research’s ranking of “Top 10 Chatbots for Enterprise Customer Support.”
Reply.ai became aware of the BridgeCommunity through an accelerator in the commercialization program’s referral network. Co-founder, Clara de Soto, joined the BridgeCommunity to expand her startup’s corporate network and put a framework around the corporate sales cycle Reply.ai was navigating on their own.
The workshops and toolkit the BridgeCommunity provided gave us a concrete look into the best way to get into enterprises, build a pilot, work through KPI’s and move into an agreement. We finally saw the process in black and white. – Clara de Soto, Co-founder, Reply.ai
In the BridgeCommunity’s Connect Days, each startup meets with interested corporate participants on their home turf to discuss piloting opportunities. For Coca-Cola the organization of the Sponsor Connect Days and the follow-up of connections made were organized by BridgeCommunity corporate member and Coca-Cola Consulting and Services Partner Capgemini, as part of a detailed startup engagement process they established this year, led by Todd Redmon (Principal & Client Partner, North America) and Adam Agnew (EVP & Global Client Partner for Coca-Cola), that was integral in helping to socialize and integrate BridgeCommunity startups into the organization.
Reply.ai’s meetings with Coca-Cola sparked immediate internal interest. Word spread that a bot startup had been hand selected to work with the company. When Coca-Cola’s West Africa Business Unit circulated they were looking to start a consumer engagement bot initiative, Reply.ai surfaced as an obvious option given their participation in the BridgeCommunity.
Our Corporate Connect Days were some of the best corporate meetings that we’ve ever had. It was clear all of the right people were in the room and we left with a stamp of approval internally. – Clara de Soto, Co-founder, Reply.ai
Waithera Kabiru, Digital Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa, is working with Repy.ai for Coca-Cola’s under the cap promotion in Mauritius, Africa. When a consumer buys a Coca-Cola product, they receive a unique code under the cap to redeem digital prizes from Coke’s flagship TV and Online show on the continent, Coke Studio Africa. This code unlocks access to exclusive music content that is teen-centric and uniquely African, packaged as playlists and ringback tones suitable for mobile consumption. In most sub-Saharan markets, code redemption relies on traditional mobile platforms such as SMS, which are expensive for consumers due to the long consumer journey. Through Reply.ai’s chatbot, Coca-Cola in Mauritius is able to create one-on-one meaningful engagements with consumers who participate in the promotion.
The chatbot experience is mostly guided, with the ability for users to ask open-ended questions about the redemption process and select from a menu of items, giving consumers more control over what they redeem than ever before. Reply.ai’s bot is being rolled out over Facebook Messenger, a fertile frontier in the sub-Saharan African market.
One of the most exciting things about this project is that though Mauritius is a small island, the impact of a Facebook Messenger chatbot can be enormous in terms of one-on-one engagement. For the 2017 Coke Studio Under the Crown Promotion, we took a mobile-first approach to provide a seamless experience for the consumers, on a platform (Facebook) that they spend a lot of time on.
Mauritius is home to 1.28 million people with a striking internet penetration rate of 63%. When Mauritians go online, 720K of them are monthly active users of Facebook, which is about 60% of the population of the island.* The chatbot from Reply.ai is the first step in providing a consumer driven experience. –Waithera Kabiru, Coca-Cola, Central, East and West Africa
Coca-Cola chose Reply.ai not only because of the seamless user experience, but also for their platform’s easy integration into all of the necessary internal systems and security requirements. Since inception, Reply.ai has been working to ensure their platform is as globally capable as possible – building in features so companies can scale bots across messaging channels and markets. A prudent decision, as Mauritius is just a part of Reply.ai’s redemption rollout.
Coca-Cola’s West Africa Business Unit is looking to expand it fairly swiftly across other markets as piloting benchmarks are hit, starting with Nigeria. Reply.ai has a code-free bot building interface so expansion is as easy as spinning up another account for the next market and customizing it.