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Strength in numbers

Strength in numbers

Gonabit.com is a new way to shop in Dubai, and it has big plans. As the Arabic version launches, we ask founder Dan Stuart about the concept behind the site.

August 12, 2010 5:42 by



Which markets are you targeting?

Our launch cities are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But we are looking at Kuwait City, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Jeddah and Riyadh as well.
We think this business works well in different markets and we want to move quickly and smartly.

Kuwait City, for example, has a good mix of online savvy good businesses. I lived there for three years so I know it pretty well. Amman and Beirut might not have the greatest internet penetration, nor the largest populations, but they have a great mix of savvy buyers and great variety of things to do.

We are also looking at places that have a natural cultural connection to the region such as Turkey and India.

Which businesses have shown interest so far?

With the social calendar and at one deal every day, we can only work with a limited number of companies. Assuming some repeat collaboration we would be working with roughly 200 businesses a year. It may sound like a lot but once it’s divided into categories such as restaurants, spas, salons, adventure, events and off-the-wall activities, it’s really not that many.

What’s the criteria?

Our clients are either a business that you’ve never heard of – discovery – or a business that you’ve heard of but you didn’t know much about – exploration. They are mostly service-based businesses.

With events we’re looking at where we get a batch of tickets that we put up as promotion the day before the tickets go online. This limited promotion is meant to be a buzz generator and a WoM amplifier so that when tickets go on sale, there’s a build-up towards the actual sale of the event at full price. GoNabit is selective by virtue of our model.

So you see GoNabit as a marketing aide too?

We prepare the visuals and the copy for a particular business client for that day. So they get a full marketing message with the deal. It’s not just a faceless coupon. It’s our resources centred on that brand for that day and that city. When people land on that site, they experience visuals and messages that are aligned with the marketing objectives of that business.

It’s hard to get people to sign up for five out of five deals. But if we can get each of them interested in two out of the five for themselves, and one for somebody else, then that’s pretty good.



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