Business & Technology Review

Idealz: The sweet deal of shopping

Rohma Sadaqat
Filed on October 19, 2020

Idealz, Dubai-based online shopping platform and app, rewards online shoppers on their purchases that not only benefits the customers but also the less fortunate via Dubai Cares.

Online shopping globally and regionally is witnessing momentous growth rates. Yet, launching an online store amidst the clutter of the titans currently in the market would be extremely difficult and destined for failure.

"Our only way to succeed would be to come up with something new and innovative that wasn't already available in the market," he said. "When my partner and I started studying the incentives used by retailers globally and regionally, we found that they are as outdated as the online shopping experience itself. Any attempt at boosting sales - be it via discounts or bundles, faster delivery time, greater range of SKUs and so on - always had an inverse relationship with margin. The greater the incentive, the greater the compression on margin. We believed there was a better way, so we set out to engineer a formula that worked for everyone in the equation and in doing so we came up with Idealz," co-founder Easa Al Gurg said.

Launched in 2018, and clocking in now with over 500,000 users worldwide, Idealz sells its products in limited quantity campaigns, and with every purchase made, a complimentary ticket into a specified prize draw is awarded to the buyer with over 20 draws taking place per week. Currently, there are five campaign categories to select from: cash and gold, jewellery and watches, cars, electronics, and lifestyle. Recently, the business celebrated over 1,000 winners, which was achieved within just two years of operations. The homegrown concept has given away over Dh24 million worth of prizes, which includes three Mercedes G63s, eight Suzuki Jimnys, two Nissan Patrols, seven other cars from Mercedes and Alfa Romeo, 21 VIP license plates, 28 luxury watches, and over 250 electronics bundles amongst a variety of other prizes. Most recently, Idealz launched its 'luxury apartment' campaign, the brand's latest high-value prize, giving shoppers the chance to win a lavish home in the Burj Khalifa area.

"We exclusively sell our own line of clothing and stationery," added Toubayly. "Innovation lies at the forefront of everything we do at Idealz, so expect these product lines to be redesigned and refreshed seasonally so as to remain in line with global fashion trends. For starters, we are close to launching our Fall 2020 product collection, inspired by inputs from our ever-growing global customer base."

"In addition to this, we are in the process of speaking with a number of up and coming UAE based designers to give them the opportunity to collaborate with our in-house team and design one product in each of our collections," he added. "We will work with one designer per season, up to four designers per year, and help further their exposure in the market. This is a project we are very excited about. In the near future, we plan to set up local Idealz stores in several countries regionally, with locally inspired products and prizes."

Al Gurg said that the business has plans to continue growing its global footprint and expanding on its thriving CSR initiatives. "The primary aim of our business is to create widespread value; to do this, we designed an incentive structure so compelling that a single transaction could not only make the user happy, but also those less fortunate around the world."

He explained that, since its inception, Idealz has set out to battle the disparity of lack of education in lesser-developed countries head-on and has augmented its offering by allowing customers to be the change they want to see in the world. With the global youth literacy rate increasing from 83 per cent to 91 per cent over the last two decades, regional disparities persist. Literacy is at its lowest in developing countries, with over 100 million of the global youth left with no access to quality primary education.

With a mission to tackle this, Idealz has an added feature that provides customers with the option to donate the products they purchase to charity in return for an additional complimentary ticket to the prize draw, thus doubling their chances of winning. Idealz then aggregates the products that are donated by customers and offers them to Dubai Cares, a UAE-based philanthropic organisation the e-commerce platform has partnered with, where a buy back is done at the option of the organisation, in exchange for cash to fund the building of schools and other such projects.

With each purchase allowing customers to contribute to the building of schools in lesser-developed countries, Idealz places social responsibility at the core of its value proposition. Through their CSR programme, Idealz has donated thousands of products and funded the construction and operation of three schools with the first two being in Nepal and Cambodia, in partnership with Dubai Cares.

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