Treading a new path in online shopping innovation

Jad Toubayly, founder and CEO at Idealz sheds light on how the company has reimagined the online retail experience

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Published: Mon 17 Apr 2023, 2:49 PM

Give us background about Idealz? Why did you launch it?

The ‘writing on the wall’ has been there for some time. The world was, and still is, digitalising at an unprecedented rate. Digital adoption was taking over almost every analogue function in our lives and I was eager to participate in this significant movement.

Idealz was born out of an attempt to re-invent the online shopping formula. A formula that had not changed much since the introduction of the internet. The basic journey of scrolling through products, adding them to the cart and getting them delivered has pretty much remained intact since the first online purchase was made in August 1994. So, after meticulous planning and preparation, I founded Idealz with the objective of creating a scalable, defensible and fundamentally strong business model with sound unit economics and a positive social footprint.

The underlying concept of Idealz is to create a mutually rewarding experience for our customers as well as those less fortunate around the world without negatively affecting business bottom lines. This is achieved by providing a unique and exciting way to shop online; buy any of our products and get a chance to win exciting luxury prizes. At checkout, customers are given the option to donate their purchases to the Idealz International Education Initiative and if they do so, they receive an additional entry into the prize draw. The cost of the donated products is then allocated to the building and operation of schools for underprivileged children around the world via our charity partner, Dubai Cares.

Tell us about your business model?

At our core is a unique fusion between online shopping and prize draws. Through our website and mobile app, we sell our own range of products within prize campaigns that are either limited by quantity or time. With every product purchased from these campaigns, the customer is awarded a complimentary ticket to a prize draw. When the quantity has sold out, in the case of quantity-based campaigns, or the time has elapsed, in the case of time-based campaigns, we conduct a government-regulated draw and announce a winner.

The more products a customer buys, the higher their chances of winning. Our prizes are unmatched and feature the latest cars, most sought-after electronics prizes, cash prizes in the millions, VIP license plates, furnished apartments in prestigious neighbourhoods and much more.

An overview of your campaigns and the impact Idealz has made in the recent years?

Since our launch to the public in 2017, we have successfully executed over 4,000 campaigns that have made over 5,000 winners and distributed prizes worth more than Dh150,000,000. Our goal is to become the ‘home of win’ regionally and internationally, offering our customers a vast range of products and prizes. To date, our campaigns have attracted participation from customers in more than 190 countries worldwide and winners of more than 70 different nationalities. Around four to five campaigns are launched daily, continuing our mission to generate more winners every week and provide new exciting opportunities to our customers.

We have also partnered with several leading entities in the UAE, most notably Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishments, the retail arm of Dubai Economy & Tourism. Through this partnership, Idealz is the exclusive host to all grand prizes of all festivals operated by them. More recently, we partnered with Instant Cash, part of Emirates Post Group, to offer their customers the chance to win the Instant Cash Grand Prize hosted on our platform.

Can you talk about your CSR strategy?

We set up the Idealz International Education Initiative. A programme that allows our customers to participate in the funding of schools around the world by donating their purchased products to the initiative. To date, we have funded the building and operation of 13 schools in developing countries like Nepal, Malawi, Cambodia and Senegal. The formula works beautifully, the more people want to win, the more schools we build for the underprivileged.

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