The Art Of Convenience In Motion It is important for the business community to follow closely the sentiment of the consumer, ensuring a consistent level of deep understanding of what consumers want and value most, in order to continue to be a competitive provider in the marketplace.

By Rashid Al Ghurair

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A consequence of our changing world due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the shift of convenience services and e-commerce from being a "nice-to-have" choice, to one of greater necessity than ever before. With the disruption to our daily lives and routines ranging from lockdowns through to the growing awareness of our personal wellbeing, consumers have made changes to how they access services, conduct their everyday tasks, and reprioritize what they value most.

This shift in consumer behavior has helped to fuel an accelerated drive in technological advances, embedded even further the trend towards incorporating technology into our daily lives, from shopping groceries on an app, online collection, and delivery of laundry services, through to food delivery and car refueling. For the technology sector, it has required enhanced capacity and capability to meet the growing need of a diverse range of services, as well as providing opportunities for further innovation in services provided, as well prompting a thriving technology-driven startup scene.

In the wider business world, it has thrown a gauntlet down to companies to adapt further their digital offers to their consumers, to ensure that they continue to remain relevant to the consumer needs, continue to grow, and continue to remain competitive in an increasingly more in the digital space. For us at Dubai-born car services company CAFU, we had the advantage of already being a technology driven company that was designed from day one to be consumer-centric. After all, when we launched over two years ago, we were a disrupter to the vehicle refueling market, through the introduction of our fuel delivery app, meaning that for the first time, the consumer no longer had to wait in long queues at a petrol station.

Our mindset from the outset has always been to think and consider that there is a better way to do things. In everything that we do, our design process starts with a technology enabled service around the needs of today's consumer, who value the convenience of everyday tasks made easier, contactless, and designed to give time back to them. This convenience in motion enables our consumers to do more of the things they love to do, rather than taking time out to drive to a petrol station queue. This disruptive approach works towards our vision of always using the collective power of intelligence –both human and machine– to create a better world through connected mobility to enable consumers to access on-demand carwash, car refueling, and engine oil change services, anytime and anywhere, based on their needs.

Related: A Return To Inspiration: Consumer Trends To Look Out For In 2021

As we now witness, the world is evermore technology driven, with digital savvy consumers looking for solutions to enhance their increasingly busy lives rather than add any additional burdens. The last year has shown how life, livelihoods, and how we socialize can change so quickly. It has shown that we can adapt to rapid changes –albeit challenging at times– but still remain connected to one another enabled by technology both in terms of work and play. However, it has shown that changes to consumers may well continue to be the norm rather than returning to the pre-pandemic status quo.

YouGov MENA recently reported on several of the consumer shifts since the pandemic struck– most notably that consumers no longer value the brand as the most important aspect in their purchasing behavior, but now increasingly placed a greater importance towards price by 71% of those surveyed and followed by value for money (by 68%) as key factors in their decision making. They also noted that the consumer expectation and preference for brands to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances, with 41% expecting an online presence to be created in order to conduct purchases.

It is important for the business community to follow closely the sentiment of the consumer, ensuring a consistent level of deep understanding of what consumers want and value most, in order to continue to be a competitive provider in the marketplace. This was one of the main drivers for CAFU early on in this pandemic for making the bold decision to remove our petrol delivery charges, meaning consumers simply paid for our fuel at the same price as a petrol station, but with the added benefit of being contactless and at their convenience.

Those companies that listen more to their consumers, understanding their needs, and combined with offering a great service or product, as well as always innovating, will be those that will thrive, not simply survive in our new world. Our overriding thought should always revolve around the customer, challenging ourselves to always enhance their experience, and take them where they have never been before.

Related: E-Commerce Sales In Dubai To Rise To AED100 Billion By 2022

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Rashid Al Ghurair

Founder and CEO, CAFU

Rashid Al Ghurair is the founder and CEO of CAFU, the MENA region’s first on-demand car service designed around the needs of the consumer, transforming the way a car is run and operated.

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