Egyptian chatbot start-up WideBot has reported a surge in Arabic chatbot construction requests during the first half (1H) of 2020, a 100% increase on figures for the whole of 2019.
The large-scale surge in requests comes as businesses look for quick digital interaction solutions with customers.
During the first quarter (1Q) of 2020, use of WideBot-powered chatbots has increased from 1,200 to over 2,500 in more than 40 countries. The start-up is mainly serving customers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
WideBot empowers businesses with AI-powered chatbots that help build strong relationships with customers and maximise outcomes through a seamless personalised experience.
“The coronavirus [COVID-19] was a major reason for the increased demand as people are staying home and businesses are limiting human interaction,” WideBot CEO Mohammed Nabil said. “Turning to online, automated solutions, especially with the current economic climate, also helps optimise operational costs.”
The heightened demand has mainly been visible in the e-services and delivery sectors, with industries such as food and beverages, restaurants, government services, banking and healthcare taking the lead.
Chatbots are more accessible than most means of communication, and feel more natural to use as social media penetration has now reached 75% in the Middle East and North Africa.
Over the past few years, WideBot has grown to become a leading Arabic-language AI conversational platform in the Middle East. The company has recently rebranded and added more features to make it easier for their clients to build human-like chatbots.
Commenting on the company’s rebranding, Head of Product Marketing at WideBot, Nour Eldin Ebrahim, said, “Our offerings have evolved, our portfolio expanded, and we have worked with companies, enterprises, small- and medium-sized SMEs, scale-ups and governments in over 40 countries to deliver highly complex and of top-notch quality bots used by more than 3 million users.”
With WideBot’s newly implemented chatbot templates now available, businesses can easily pick a template that fits their needs, with a complete, ready-to-publish chatbot on hand with only a few tweaks.
The template library contains 15 ready-to-use templates that are useable for restaurants, COVID-19 awareness, NGOs, E-commerce, news and other publications, and more.
With over 155 million WhatsApp subscribers sending 65 billion messages daily in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region alone, WideBot has also added WhatsApp chatbots. The WideBot update also allows sending broadcast messages to user segments that have interacted with businesses.
“Following the international trend, we expect demand to keep growing fourfold or fivefold year-on-year by the end of 2020,” Ebrahim explained.