Hussein Wehbe is the CEO of Fetchr.
The 8th edition of the Arab Social Media Forum – an event by Mangusteen – takes off on September 22, 2021, for a full day at the V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.
On this occasion, Communicate features the event's speakers. Hussein Wehbe, CEO of Fetchr, will participate in the panel on "The Impact of the Pandemic on Social Media."
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have accelerated organizations' digital transformation and consumers' adoption of digital services. What was its impact on Fetchr, in the region in particular?
The digital transformation was accelerated because many people were forced to spend more time online and adopt digital lifestyles more than before. A portion of that time was spent on e-commerce businesses, whose sales increased as a result. For us, as a logistics player, this meant more packages needed shipping which helped to grow our business. Companies that were previously not online (for example, supermarket Spinneys) accelerated their shift, which has boosted the logistics industry. The increased demand for logistic services did not go unnoticed by others and has also given rise to other last-mile companies who want to take a bit of the growing market.
Social media was another area that made the best out of a bad situation in 2020. How would you characterize the state of this industry today and the ways in which the pandemic drove its short-term evolution?
Social media has been growing since its inception by Facebook in 2004. With social media now well into its teen years, there's no excuse for brands to approach it with a passive attitude. At Fetchr, we believe customer experience is one of our most important differentiators. During the pandemic, we diligently trained our staff to use social media as a friendly, approachable way to deal with customer service and added a touch of personality to our brand. These elements are here to stay.
The general idea of social media is "onwards and upwards." While platforms may change (think of the rise of TikTok), the underlying principles remain the same: lead with value and quality.
Fetchr's strategy is digital-only. What role do social media play in this, and how did you activate them during the pandemic in particular?
COVID has impacted the lives of every audience, every age group, and users spend more time than ever online, on social media specifically. There are limited ways to reach users in the real world, so, in order to catch up, every channel has to be utilized.
At Fetchr, we created engaging content on digital and social media. We drove traffic and ran campaigns to grab the attention of new and established e-commerce businesses, to present our services and solutions to them.
What next steps do you see for social media and how does that fit within Fetchr's own evolution?
We see that the shutdown of many retail stores pushed some marketers to invest more in augmented reality as a way to offer virtual try-on and other experiences typically only available in-store.
There's always room for improvement. As a technology-oriented company, we're continuously looking at new ways of interacting with our stakeholders and improve our services. Apart from our current AI scheduling bot and integrations with WhatsApp, we keep an eye on the potential capabilities augmented reality may bring to improve our business's productivity, cost-effectiveness, and overall optimization. For example, using AR devices, optimizing warehouse operations like freight picking, packing, and loading becomes easier.
To attend the Arab Social Media Forum, register here.
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