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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Putting the customer first always pays off

Mumzworld founder Mona Ataya says companies must constantly evolve to stay ahead of consumer needs

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

The phenomenal growth story of Mumzworld is the perfect example of a start-up that puts its customers first.

Since its launch in 2011, the mother, baby and child online marketplace has expanded from a site selling 15,000 products to one with 140,000 items listed today. Last year it shipped to 20 countries and its target for 2018 is to expand even further with the company’s fifth funding round driving this growth.

At the core of this home-grown success story is a business whose vision is entirely centred around its customers.

Mona Ataya, the company's chief executive says the customer always comes first, something demonstrated by the June opening of its own warehouse. While handling the goods itself increases cost, it ensures the customer receives products faster and with less hiccups. Since opening the facility six months ago, 89 per cent of orders now reach the customer within 24 hours.

Mumzworld has also migrated its offering onto mobile to address the growing demand for mobile shopping from its customer base.

To ensure it not only keeps up with customer needs, but actually stays ahead of them, Ms Ataya says innovating its business model is key - because the online customer is a very fast-changing beast.

As Ms Ataya says about the early days of the business: “We didn’t know how the consumer would evolve. We thought they would evolve gradually and while she did at first, she then went on a vertical trend of expectations and habit changes and we had to be ahead of her.”

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Back in 2011, online shopping in the region was in its infancy; today’s customer on the other hand wants everything at a low cost and delivered quickly. So as the customer becomes more discerning, it is vital that businesses also evolve, but at a faster pace, to ensure they stay abreast of changing demands.

As Ms Ataya says, it is about adapting your offering to deliver the best practices for this region. It's a strategy that has helped Mumzworld become the largest entity of its kind in the Arab world - and is a key principle at the heart of any successful business.