2018 was a transformative year for Saudi Arabia, socially and politically, but also for brands.
One such brand is Saudi Telecom Company (STC) that closed all 220 branches across 118 governorates in the Kingdom’s 2.1 million square kilometers of territory on December 19 without any warning or prior notice.
Instead, STC went to its clients by redirecting people to its suite of digital self-service channels – MySTC app, MySTC Shop, MySTC 900.
Why the bold move? STC had been offering digital alternatives for a while, yet clients still chose to complete their transactions in the traditional way at a branch. With STC ripping off the band-aid, people had no choice but to overcome their skepticism and adapt. New technologies were now finding new fans in Saudi Arabia and overnight, behavior shifted.
- Sales rose by 500% on the MySTC app
- Sales rose by 86% on digital channels
- In 24 hours, #STCclosingitsstores generated 20 million social impressions and was Saudi Arabia’s number one trending topic on Twitter, and second in the world.
- Google Play data recorded a 14% increase in weekly active users of MySTC app which was sustained well after the activation
- Google search data demonstrated “My STC” keyword grew by 24% in the 3 weeks following the store closures
- Google search data also chronicled a sudden increase in specific keywords such as “esales” and “900 stc”
The results, which have recently come in, demonstrate how much Saudis engaged with the idea when their habitual channel was removed for a while.