Wamli Launches Quirky New E-Commerce Platform in Dubai
Wamli, a funky new e-commerce platform for geeks and those looking for an unorthodox shopping experience, launched today in Dubai.
The startup aims to offer a unique experience for their users; according to their press release, “Wamli aims to offer a game-changing dimension to the e-commerce sphere.”
This “game-changing dimension" is based on some pretty tall claims. Wamli guarantees the following services upon launch:
- Shopping combined with a one-of-a-kind loyalty/rewards program, using game mechanics.
- Disrupting social e-commerce built around a rich internal community and its own virtual economy.
- Across the globe delivery [between 3-7 days] from launch-date.
With a stylish design, a unique line of products, and very high standards of service, Wamli will be a force to be reckoned in the global e-commerce market, if they can pull it off.
The four founders Rabih Ghandour, Tarek Idriss, Imad Ghandour, and Hachem Ghandour each brings a unique skill to the startup which took only six months to develop before launch. They do their own in-house development, product collection and gamification. On the site, Wamli offers both normal and some strangely ambiguous product categories including tech, home design, style, “crazy-funky-cool”, wheels, prestige, and travel.
Aiming for 3-7 day shipping across the globe is a tall order, especially for a brand new startup, but "Chief Sunny Officer" Tarek Idriss is confident they can pull it off. So far the team of 10 has also successfully raised some hype around their launch date (and time) at 12:12 pm on December 12, 2012, with over 19,000 Facebook followers even before their launch.
The team has also designed a very cool game-like loyalty and consumer rewards program, which grants users certain "superpowers" as they purchase more products. When a user purchases a product on Wamli, they earn a certain amount of coins which can be used to unlock new "powers" including unlimited free shipping, a concierge service, or even increasing their game currency conversion rate (if spending $10 earns 1 coin, a new power can raise this reward rate to 5 or even 10 coins depending on the power). "I'm a gamer at heart; I added this gaming element to it along with Rabih who's also a gamer," says Idriss.
Accumulated coins can also be used to purchase products instead of powers like a regular rewards program. "The more you collect, the more you can spend to buy products, it's basically like air miles," explains Idriss. This gamification, as well as some very unique products, is what Wamli is banking on to differentiate itself from regional and global competitors, including newly launched Desado and soon-to-launch Wysada, both of which feature home goods.
Wamli's simple e-commerce strategy of "browse, shop, play" is designed to keep users engaged and excited to earn new powers to rank higher on the site's leaderboards.
High aspirations, a beautiful design, and a very unique line of products may allow Wamli to gain a footing in the market during the holiday season and establish itself as a regional competitor going into the new year. But execution is always easier said than done; building a reputation that meets expectations will be their biggest challenge. For now, I'm just excited to try out out their "chopstick spoon".