Innovation remains at the forefront of everything

Interviews

My Startup World speaks to the team of Easa Al Gurg and Jad Toubayly behind the fast-growing e-commerce platform, Idealz to understand how is their platform offering a unique shopping experience to the users and how successfully they have integrated the CSR initiative into their business model.

Can you provide an elevator pitch for the Idealz e-commerce platform?
Idealz is an online store that has reimagined the shopping experience. Buy any of our merchandise and you will get the chance to win a wide range of luxury prizes. All our products can be found within five campaign categories: cars, watches, cash, electronics and lifestyle.

Once you purchase a product, you will receive a complimentary coupon into the prize draw within the category you selected. All products within a campaign are limited to a set quantity and therefore the complimentary prize coupons are also limited.

What is the inspiration behind initiating this venture?
Today, over 4 billion people are connected to the internet and almost half of them can attest to the convenience of online transactions. My partner and I however, wanted to flip the script in traditional online shopping that has seen very little innovation since its outset. We also wanted to create a win-win-win formula that benefits the customer, us as the business and those less fortunate around the world.

Can you explain the economics behind the various campaigns that are listed in Idealz?
The economics are simple. Our product prices range from AED10 to AED825 and fall within two main categories: clothing and stationary. These products are sold in limited quantities within various campaigns and our customers are further incentivized to buy these products owing to the prize attached to the campaign. The value of the prize has a certain degree of correlation to the number of products in a campaign, but our goal is the same as that of any other online clothing retailer in the market, which is to sell the maximum number of products for as high as possible price.

What has been fueling the growth of Idealz since its inception?
The incentive is high, and we carefully curate our prizes and products to what the market wants most. The concept is innovative, and no replica exists worldwide. We also have a very careful and well thought out marketing strategy that maximizes our growth targets. Our unique CSR initiative that has thus far been able to fund the construction and operation of three schools has also played its part in achieving this growth.

Can you throw some light on your CSR initiatives?
We have taken a different approach with regard to integrating CSR into our business model. When we launched Idealz, we wanted to make sure that giving back was at the forefront of our business model and that we find a way to proactively and innovatively fulfill our CSR goals. We provide our customers with the option, and not the obligation, to donate the products they have purchased to charity. If they opt to do so, they are awarded an additional complimentary coupon for every product purchased and donated, thus potentially doubling their chance to win the prize. Through this mechanism, we have managed to expand retail contributions to charity beyond depending on only kindness and goodwill.

What is the next ‘head-turning’ concept can we expect from Idealz?
Innovation remains at the forefront of everything we do at Idealz so, continue to expect advances from us in the technology, products and prizing departments. We are close to launching our completely redesigned Fall 2020 product collection, inspired by inputs and requests from our ever-growing global customer base.

From a prize perspective, we recently gave away our first Million Dirham cash prize and, on the platform currently, there are live campaigns to win a Fully Furnished Studio Apartment and yet another Mercedes G63! In the coming days, we will be launching a campaign to win the all-new 2020 Land Rover Defender! As for the next ‘head turner’, we prefer to keep these things under tight wrap!

Idealz astounding success has been a revelation to budding entrepreneurs, what advice would you offer them?
We typically shy away from offering any advice. Nothing would bother us more than giving advice to others that doesn’t work for them. What we can say though is, don’t look at what others are doing and try to do it better. Instead, get creative and be innovative! Find a passion within your hearts and pursue it till you succeed. One of our products has a proverb that we live by – FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful.

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