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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



How do you make money?

Because we’re handling all the transactions and because it’s performance-based, we take a commission.
So the businesses never send us money, the product does the marketing. Essentially, they don’t need a budget to work with us. They are marketing off the margin from that first visit—the promotion.

How many members do you have already?

Right now we have more than 15,000 members. The value for businesses shouldn’t be only about the number of emails we have in our database, but in the difference of how many of our members convert into paid purchases.

And target market?

Our assumptive market is a 60-40 breakdown. The majority is 24-45-year-old females, university educated with disposable income. We have deals for men too, of course. For instance, where the promotion is for women only, we position it to the men as a potential gift. You can also buy credit for someone else, such as a staff or a friend.

What are your marketing strategies for the site?

While we are marketing the business through our database, we are also running a banner campaign on several websites including Bayt.com.

Reinforcing the social nature, we are also running ads on Facebook – the more friends you have, the higher chances are for getting a deal.

Say there are 12 members interested in a certain promotion and 50 people are needed to get it, it’s in the interest of those members to become what I call a “value evangelist”, spreading the word to friends so they get the deal. This also gives members the opportunity to use the vouchers together, making the experience even more social.

We also have community managers in each city. Their job is to build and manage the community with a personal presence; to be online and out in the field, listening to what people are saying in terms of deals they want to see.

We’re not really about shopping online, we’re about getting great deals online that are then experienced offline.



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