As the global rise of daily
deals sites found its way to Morocco last year, SuperDeal.ma became the third daily deals
platform to launch in the Moroccan market, after MyDeal and Hmizate. Inspired by
LivingSocial and Groupon, the site was launched in March 2011 by
five young Moroccans. CEO Ismail Loubrais claims that the platform
is the market leader at the moment.
SuperDeal is a self-funded startup, still in the developmental phase but already operational in Casablanca, Rabat and Marakkesh. To build to the size they envision, the team is focusing on quality and innovation and not sweating profits for the moment. "We are re-investing every penny to develop more tools and services, and we believe this is the key to success," says Loubrais. The website is also improving the product sections in order to reach more people. "We have seen exponential growth, that is allowing us to improve ourselves, and we recently launched hi-tech, travel and shopping sections," he adds.
Most of SuperDeal's customers pay using credit card, using Maroc Telecommerce as a payment gateway. "We have been developing a means of paying in cash but it is still not our main source of revenue," explains Loubrais, saying that 80% of the website's visitors pay in credit card.
Being leaders in the Moroccan market was not an easy position for SuperDeal to reach. In order to differenciate themselves and stand out in what can be a cutthroat business with little customer loyalty, the team has chosen to add specific human touches to the site, to touch on social issues and build a more direct, personal relationship with its customers and partners. To accomplish this, SuperDeal implemeted the following four elements:
1. Arabic interface. SuperDeal is the first and only e-commerce site in Morocco to date that offers an Arabic interface. "We insisted on the Arabic interface to widen our reach and reach the Arabic audience. Although many people use our Arabic interface to check deals and navigate, they end up going to the French interface to make the payment, and we don't really know why yet," says Loubrais.
2. Satisfaction policy. If the customers don't use the coupons for whichever reason, SuperDeal reimburses them within seven days after the end of the validity date, with no conditions or questions asked. "This is a way to kill any hesitation a customer has while purchasing a deal, and we are the first in the market to implement it," he explains.
3. Quality and partner relationship unit. This unit works closely with superDeal's partners to raise awareness within the team on how to engage and relate with the customers making sure they return and want to stay updated of all deals offered.
4. A solidarity initiative. SuperDeal signed an agreement with a social support association called "L'heure Joyeuse" (The Joyfull Hour), committing to donate 1 DH on every coupon sold through the website, and give the choice to the customer to donate or not another 1 DH. If the customer pays, the association gets 2 DH, if he doesn't choose to pay, it will receive only 1 DH. Three months after launching this initiative, SuperDeal has donated a total of 60 thousand DH to the association. "There is nothing in it for us, actually. We are already famous in Morocco and we want to contribute to a good cause, we are proud of this!" says Loubrais.
"L'heure Joyeuse" works on social issues such as reintegrating jobless people, supporting single moms, helping rural communities by giving bicycles to young people to go to school, and working with the authorities on general social programs.
Standing out in the daily deals market in Morocco has its own challenges, mainly differentiating its products from competitors and being as innovative as possible offering quality service. But another main challenge faced by e-commerce startups all over the MENA region, not only in Morocco, is helping customers surpass their fear to pay online. "We are trying to work with MarocTelecommerce to launch a awareness campaign in order to democratize online payment."
Selling between 500 and 1000 coupons per day, Loubrais seems to feel comfortable with the growth of SuperDeals customer base throughout the past year, especially during this period in Morocco when education levels are increasing among youth and more jobs are being created. "I highly believe that economical and social growth in Morocco today will be an important element in the growth and success of Moroccan e-commerce and daily deals sites."