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
This “game-changing dimension" is based on
some pretty tall claims. Wamli guarantees the following services
- 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
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