Social Commerce Startup GoNabit Launches in the UAE
Pioneers of first-to-region group buying concept for SMEs.
June 24, 2010 2:38 by Rasha Reslan
23 June, 2010, Dubai: Venture-backed GoNabit has become the first group buying platform to launch in the UAE. Bringing one of the Web’s fastest growing retail phenomena to the Middle East, GoNabit sources ultra discounted daily deals from local businesses to be sold to its subscribers within a limited period of time.
Having successfully completed beta testing of its Dubai site, GoNabit will launch its Abu Dhabi website imminently and plans to expand to another 10 regional cities by the end of the year.
The first online marketing company of its kind in the region, GoNabit uses the power of group buying to negotiate unbeatable deals on things to see, eat and do in the cities in which it operates, while offering businesses a risk-free customer-creation engine. This new selling technique is an approach which GoNabit’s entrepreneurial founders call ‘assured marketing’. Taking the guesswork out of the cost of customer acquisition, GoNabit provides merchants with a measurable platform for communicating a compelling offer to an engaged audience.
“GoNabit offers consumers a secure online shopping experience while bridging the gap from buzz to buy for merchants,” explained CEO and Co-founder Dan Stuart. “We use strength in numbers and unbeatable deals to help buyers and sellers benefit from discovering each other online.”
The mechanics of GoNabit are fairly straightforward. Buyers subscribe for free to GoNabit and receive a daily email offering them a product or experience in their city with a discount of between 50 to 90 per cent. Deals so far have ranged from massages and beauty products to dining experiences, outdoor adventures and even a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa.
To successfully “nab” the deal, it must first tip – the point at which the agreed number of purchasers opts into buying the deal. Once the tipping point is achieved and the deal goes live, any GoNabit subscriber can purchase it. The deal only lasts for 24 to 48 hours or until it reaches its sales volume target.
In this way GoNabit encourages subscribers to share daily deals with their friends via email, Facebook or Twitter, plan joint activities and take advantage of the low prices together. Purchases are made by credit card through PayPal and customers are charged only if the deal tips.
Successful transactions on GoNabit receive an e-voucher for the product or service to be redeemed directly with the merchant within an agreed timeframe. This not only enables merchants to accurately track customer conversions, but also increases opportunities for repeat business.
Sohrab Jahanbani, COO and Co-founder, says GoNabit offers SMEs one of the most targeted methods for converting clicks into tangible bottom line results. “With no upfront cost, an advertising investment concentrated on actual customers, the largest reach into young savvy buyers, an exclusive spotlight on your business combined with the buzz and power of social media as well as the certainty of a clear and measurable return on investment, there is no better place for local businesses to create real customers than on GoNabit,” he said.
GoNabit is already demonstrating the power of its collective user base ahead of its official launch. In its four weeks of beta operation the GoNabit Dubai site nabbed over 100,000 dirhams in savings for its subscribers across 18 deals.
“The beta buzz alone has attracted a lot of great partners to register their deals with GoNabit as word of its effectiveness spreads. The time is now for residents of the Middle East to enjoy the benefits of social commerce. We created GoNabit.com to be a pioneering, safe, secure, online group buying platform for the region that helps people come together, save and discover locally,” added Stuart.
Backed by initial funding from Bayt.com, the number one job site in the Middle East, GoNabit is well positioned to scale regionally. It also boasts the highest level of Verisign’s SSL encryption and was the first company in the UAE to have its data management verified by Trustee.