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Qatar’s booming deals market aids recovery of retail businesses

Qatar’s booming deals market, wherein consumers are able to purchase goods and services at discounted prices or with buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) promotions, is helping retail businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discounts and deals aggregator companies such as Urban Point, My Book, Entertainer, talabat and Qgrabs among others, are seeing not only a growing number of subscriptions from consumers, but an increasing number of partner businesses as well.

“We see thousands of new customers subscribing every month. Our users are our best ambassadors. When people see their friends saving thousands with offers on Urban Point, they join to give it a try and immediately realize how easy it is to use and save money on everyday activities. Many customers get Urban Point subscription for free as part of their Ooredoo Shahry and Qatarna plans, so they can enjoy the savings at no extra cost to them,” Saif Qazi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Urban Point told The Peninsula yesterday.

He added: “Consumers are now much more conscious about using in-app offers for their everyday purchases. Also, at the height of the lockdown last year, businesses were shut and suffered immensely. When the country started reopening, we helped incentivise customers to visit our partner businesses again. We saw a rapid increase in activity month-on-month from June onwards. This was a win-win for our customers and businesses, as customers were able to gradually return to normal and save money during tough financial times while businesses were able to welcome back their customers”.

Most recently, Talabat has also entered the deals market in the country with the launch of its talabat Dine (tDine) membership platform, which provides deals such as a daily buy one get one free, dine-in discounts and benefits at over 130 restaurants in Qatar.
My Book has also previously partnered with Vodafone to launch the Vodafone My Book Qatar App, wherein postpaid and prepaid customers gain access to over 1,000 BOGOF offers at more than 500 of the most popular merchants in Qatar, across restaurants, hotels, theme parks, health & fitness, spas, shopping, and more.

“The deals promotions have been very effective in increasing our revenue at the store. About 80 percent of our customers use the deals vouchers from various apps when making their purchases, while about 20 percent of our customers use their corporate discounts, which are provided by their companies. Only a small portion of the customers actually pay for the whole amount of their purchases. The deals have been helping us not only in attracting new customers, but in promoting our other branches as well,” Camille, a staff at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Doha also told The Peninsula yesterday.

According to Qazi, restaurants and cafes continue to be the most popular retail outlets frequented by subscribers when redeeming their deals vouchers. This is followed by spas, salons and entertainment outlets.

Urban Point, a lifestyle savings app, which has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a top Mena startup, has had over 100,000 members and over 300 partners in 2019. While its members have made over QR12m under the digital platform.

Qazi, expressing his optimism for the industry post-pandemic, said: “In 2020, we more than doubled both our customers and partners compared to our 2019 numbers. We would have more than doubled the savings and merchant revenue as well had it not been for the pandemic”.

“However, we have had a tremendous start to 2021 and we have exceeded even the highest numbers which we achieved before the pandemic”.

“In fact, Urban Point is now the leading driver of customers for many of the top brands in Qatar. We expect 2021 to be our best year to date. Also, we have launched a delivery offers section in our app and now have the largest collection of offers in Qatar,” he added.

Source: The Peninsula

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