WebEngage: Personalizing Customer Engagement with AWS
Guest post by WebEngage
In 2019, marketer’s job has never been tougher. End customers of any business are spoilt for choices of different products and services; hence, attracting customers and getting them to stick can be quite challenging for businesses. This makes the role of customer engagement extremely critical. Today’s marketers need to build strong relationships with customers through communication that is meaningful, personalized, and effective.
As customers are distributed across different channels of acquisition, including social media, display advertising, or paid search, marketers need to deploy a strategy that spans across web, mobile, in-app, SMS, email, Facebook. The strategy also needs to follow the customer’s multi-platform journey to purchase.
Founded in 2011, WebEngage enables marketers to do just this. By helping them create personalized experiences on a massive scale, the company provides a comprehensive platform that has helped more than 300 enterprise customers, including major brands like Flipkart, Goibibo, EazyDiner, Bajaj Finserv, and Yatra, track over 400 million users. We currently track over 20 billion events and do 10 billion user engagements in a month.
Tech to Enable Growth
So how did we get to 10 billion user engagements per month in a matter of months?
First, the company needed a way of storing all of its growing customer bases’ data—whether they were anonymous, first-timers, or loyal customers. It also needed to record their historical behavior. This meant that they needed storage as well as database management capabilities that were scalable and cost-effective.
The company also needed the right infrastructure to manage high velocity, high volume and real-time data needs of its customers. Therefore, high retrieval speed and availability were major factors to consider.
After much deliberation, we decided to implement a SaaS (Software as a Service) model which would be the best way forward. WebEngage zeroed down on AWS to help usher in this new era of business growth.
AWS Solutions to the Rescue
While this phenomenal growth was great news for the company, it brought challenges as well. To address these, WebEngage used AWS to move seamlessly from a monolithic infrastructure to microservices.
To build scalability, the company leveraged Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). This has given WebEngage a secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud while retaining control of its resources. It has also given the company dynamic capabilities to quickly scale up and down, depending on changing computing requirements. Columnar databases and Elasticsearch have helped WebEngage deliver diversified campaigns such as trigger campaigns based on real-time data and automation.
Amazon Elastic Load Balancing has helped WebEngage automatically balance external and internal loads by distributing traffic across multiple targets such as Amazon EC2, containers, and Lambda functions. The company also uses Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) for all its internal communications.
WebEngage relies on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for its storage needs. Amazon S3 is the perfect solution for WebEngage as it delivers scalability, data availability, security, and performance. It uses AWS Lambda to run code without provisioning.
Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is another important tool for WebEngage. The end user delivery happens through different partners. WebEngage creates the content, time, and personalization, but the delivery bandwidth is chosen based on the customer. This queuing service allows the integration of different SMS paths for the end user. Each path has its own latency and delivery scope. This helps ensure that whenever someone sends a communication, it reaches each customer in their own style. It helps deliver content exactly where their customers are. It also helps prioritize customers closer to the sales funnel, identify which medium will work best, and figure out the personalized message that should reach them.
WebEngage’s inbuilt ML capabilities enable the product to choose the right time to deliver campaigns to end users.
Moving to the AWS platform has given WebEngage the storage, scalability, and speed it desired to service its burgeoning customer base.
It has provided 99.9% availability while drastically reducing infrastructure costs, helping reduces expenditure by 40%. Additionally, AWS has enabled it to manage the database effectively.
AWS has given WebEngage a lot of scope to make its product intelligent. As Ankit Utreja, our Co-founder and CTO, has said, “We are using Machine Learning (ML) to make our product smarter and other AWS solutions to create a packaged solution that can easily work with different environments.” It no longer needs to apply its mathematics to build a communication strategy as the intelligence automatically crafts a strategy.
AWS solutions also help WebEngage run analytics and cull out intelligence from its data. Its smart analytics application depends on Amazon EC2. The solution has helped in
● Increased monthly event consumption volume from 100 million user action (user events) /day to over 1 Billion user action (user events) /day
● Tracking over 400+ million users
● Gained cost savings of about 40%
“For calculating campaign metrics and ROI impact such a conversion lift, customer retention, user engagement across industries along with an option for customers to slice and dice the same using multiple dimensions, we use a combination of systems. Some are being hosted on Amazon Web Services like Amazon Elastic Search Service. These services reduce our maintenance cost to keep the cluster upgraded and healthy,” says Utreja.
WebEngage wants to expand its AI/ML capabilities and make its products much smarter. We plan to leverage Amazon SageMaker in the near future to manage our entire ML workflow. We are also looking at enhancing our product distribution.
“Currently, we deliver 10 billion messages a month. We are planning to reach 50 billion by the end of the year,” shared the CTO.
With AWS technology backing WebEngage, our customers will now be able to bring their marketing strategies to life in a matter of seconds. We will have a deeper insight into our customers’ journeys and we will be able to create highly-personalized communication strategies.
Targeted engagement and retention capabilities will see marketers coming back for more. It looks like WebEngage’s ambitious growth plans are well within reach.