We wanted next week’s StartupQ8 Monthly Event to be useful for people interested in online marketplaces and their challenges. So we asked Faisal AlMahmeed and Tareq AlShaikh, the two founders behind the soon to be launched online marketplace vewmo.com, to join us and discuss their experience. Not only did they agree to that, but they were also kind enough to answer a few questions about their startup for a blog post. Here’s the Q&A:
What is vewmo.com?
Vewmo.com is an e-commerce website where customers will be able to buy either products or vouchers for offers at spas, restaurants, salons, etc. We are supporting the small business community is a part of our social responsibility, by making it easy for small businesses to partner up with us and feature their products and services.
There have been many attempts to implement this business model. What makes Vewmo unique?
We are mixing concepts of the traditional online shopping experience and the daily deals experience. Gift vouchers will be available too. We believe that we should sell things that people would want to buy! Hence, the in-store availability of certain products will be displayed on the website. We will also carry some products exclusively, and other products can be bundled for even better pricing.
What are the most important elements in terms of design and user experience?
This is a very important issue that we thought long about and worked hard to address. In terms of design, we made sure that it is uniquely different from what is currently out there. We want the experience to be cozy and neat. We also worked very hard in developing the mobile version to give it a totally different, mobile-centric experience, so that customers can view the products with the look and feel of an app.
What are your plans for vendor acquisition? What about users?
We’re looking for vendors who have a sustainable business line so they can sell products year-round rather than seasonally. Also, vendor diversification is important so that customers can see a variety of products and services. This should be reflected very positively in our customers’ shopping experience. We will also have a “Feature Your Business” section that should attract small businesses to become our partners. User acquisition will be start with an aggressive social media strategy. Everyone in our target market can be found on social media, and it will help to spread the word about our business.
What are your plans post-launch?
We have built the platform, now it’s time to measure and learn. We will closely monitor what sells and what doesn’t. We will evaluate vendor and consumer experiences. These are very valuable elements that you can get for free. We have a dedicated page on our site called “Help Us Improve” where customers can recommend areas of improvement as well as suggest unique products to be featured on our site. Finally, constant adaptation to market changes and consumer taste will be another pillar of our efforts post-launch.