DIAF did an email interview with Greg Hucker, CEO of a new beauty and male grooming portal in the UAE called Zanedo.com.
DIAF: Please tell us what Zanedo.com is all about.
Greg Hucker: Zanedo is an online beauty and male grooming portal, designed to offer consumers the opportunity to discover, shop and learn about everything to do with female beauty and male grooming. As a discovery platform, Zanedo offers a curated beauty samples box on a monthly subscriptions basis where our experts choose 5-6 products from new, emerging and well-known brands. This allows people to discover new products at a very effective price point with a view to buying the full sized product from our e-commerce store. Zanedo.com is also about building a beauty and grooming community where people can come to get expert tips and tricks, advice and simply learn about the industry.
DIAF: Does the name ‘Zanedo’ have a meaning?
Greg Hucker: When we created the concept, the founding team wanted something short and easy to remember and a name that was universal so could be taken to any country. We also wanted something a little different and Zanedo tells the story of that uniqueness and how we started the business. It took us months to research names and we had a lot of fun with the design and overall process till we all agreed we would launch as Zanedo.
DIAF: Who is your direct competition in the UAE?
Greg Hucker: Zanedo.com has many unique points in the e-commerce beauty and grooming space which is why we believe the model is sustainable and can offer great choice to the online community. We are this great mix of discovery and shopping so we do enjoy a little bit of breathing space in terms of competition in the market place. That said, being new, we aren’t first to market for the beauty samples box and we enjoy healthy competition with another business in the UAE.
DIAF: Is Zanedo.com for the UAE only?
Greg Hucker: We launched Zanedo in the UAE initially as it is home for us and we are experienced in the local e-commerce market place. With founders from Cobone and Groupon and a number of other successful business, we wanted to start in the region with all the experiences and learning’s we had achieved over the last 5 years. We have future expansion plans for Zanedo across the GCC but for now we are concentrating on the UAE. We actually fulfilled our first order from Saudi Arabia last week so it’s going to be a very interesting year ahead.
DIAF: Who is your target audience?
Greg Hucker: Our target audience is men and woman interested in beauty and grooming within the region. We don’t have a specific age group we target as the products we supply can span full cycle from Children’s shampoo’s and organic soaps all the way through anti-aging and restorative skincare. Currently we are predominantly female orientated but we are expanding our male grooming range every day so we can offer something for everyone.
DIAF: How is Zanedo.com different from other similar websites in the UAE?
Greg Hucker: Zanedo’s uniqueness comes in our approach and our diverse brand offerings. The beauty sample box is a great way for people to try new products and brands they may not normally have in their beauty regime. We have over 1000 products online and we hope to grow this to over 10,000 products to make us the premier place of choice for all things beauty and grooming. We have a very fast delivery service and we typically deliver within 2 business days.
Our primary difference is that we are a dedicated beauty and grooming e-commerce site. We haven’t mixed the model with a huge array of other verticals so you can be assured of our dedication to what we represent at the core level. Zanedo.com has a panel of experts which we are building from amazing local talent and famous international talent where people can be assured of getting the best advice in regards to their beauty and skincare regimes. Zanedo also enjoys a competitive pricing model on most brands where we can deliver not only the convenience of shopping online but also pass on savings versus traditional retail shopping.
DIAF: What do you plan to achieve with your new venture?
Greg Hucker: With Zanedo we hope to change the face of beauty and grooming in the region and prove that there is a strong and sustainable online business outside of the traditional retail model. We would like to build a great community of beauty centric people willing to share their experiences and content with Zanedo. This extends into our social channels for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Zanedo will be the one stop online site that fulfills all of your beauty and grooming needs.
DIAF: E-commerce in Dubai is…please tell us your thoughts.
Greg Hucker: E-commerce in Dubai is has grown a long way over the last few years with greater awareness, more trust amongst credit card holders and a spurt of e-commerce companies calling the city “home”. I love the fact that Dubai can produce e-commerce entrepreneurs to rival those from around the world and is seen as a launch pad for inspiring online business owners. The natural feel of community within the city helps drive a level of comfort to branch out and try something new which will help those wanting to bring their concept to reality.
The government is continuing to grow in terms of understanding, sponsorship and encouragement of the online e-commerce platforms and this is a great sign for everyone. Dubai still has plenty of opportunities in the market and Zanedo is looking to tap into that buzz and become a market leader in beauty and grooming.
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