Your personal stylist is just a click away


Your personal stylist is just a click away
Ulugbek Makmudov, CTO, Mahmoud Gao and James Baldry.

Mr Draper is on a mission to rebuild the shopping experience to make it more personal and convenient both on and offline

By Muhammad Riaz Usman

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Published: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 5:24 PM

Mahmoud Gao, founder and CEO of Mr Draper, has always been interested in building a business, but never felt he had the right idea to kick things off. The concept of Mr Draper came about organically. As someone who was always into dressing a certain way and helped his friends do the same, Mahmoud figured an online personal stylist that catered to the everyday guy, was a great opportunity, as alternatives only catered to the privileged consumer.
"We are on a mission to rebuild the shopping experience to make it more personal and convenient both on and offline. We combine the power of machine learning and the personal touch of a professional stylist to generate curated outfits for every customer," explains Mahmoud.
With Mr Draper, customers get the benefits of trying on clothes before they purchase them like at the mall with the added convenience of shopping at home (like a typical online shop).
"After creating a detailed profile on our site, we use the information to create curated looks to try-on at their home/office for 5 days. They can keep and pay for what they love and we collect the rest," he elaborates.
"The real magic behind the scenes is in the data that we collect where a return is as valuable as a purchase. Our machine learning algorithm combines purchase data along with customer behaviour and profile information to generate a carefully selected set of items for our stylists to personalise each box at scale, he continues.
Mahmoud says Mr Draper's core focus is to leverage data and technology to provide an unparalleled shopping experience for its customers.
"We look to be launching our mobile app in the coming few months," he says.
Established in 2015 in the UAE, Mr Draper is now planning to expand in the Mena region and beyond.
"We're only scratching the surface of the opportunity, but with a 60 per cent customer retention rate, we know we are making the right decisions," Mahmoud says.
James Baldry, marketing manager, claims that there is no one in the region offering the same service as Mr Draper.
"We're truly unique in that sense but if you compare us to brick and mortar retail or e-commerce players, it's our ability to capture vast amounts of both customer and purchase data. By putting the two together we are able to deliver a highly personalised service that gets better the more a customer uses it," James says.
"Preferences and behaviours are always being updated whereas in traditional retail, a conversation in-store evaporates the moment they walk out the shop. Whilst regular e-commerce does enjoy some of the same convenience benefits, the customer has to pay for goods upfront and their preferences aren't captured to the depth that we collect them so there isn't a relationship that the customer can count on for receiving a set of outfits personal to their style, fit and size preferences. And that's what really differentiates us. A customer can request a package in a couple of clicks or just a WhatsApp message and then receive a hand-picked selection of items that have been curated into outfits by personal stylist who really knows them. That isn't the case with shops or e-commerce sites," he explains.
Sharif El Badawi, partner, at 500 Startups, says shopping for clothes is often the last thing on the minds of working men, yet in bustling metropolitan cities such as Dubai, looking great is part of business.
"Mr Draper's stylists and technology simplify the process for its customers by providing uniquely tailored outfits to suit each person's taste and does it with the convenience and modernity you'd expect in today's age. Men across the region can dress better and save time with their own personal styling service," he says.

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