Beirut’s deal-savvy consumers are fast gaining confidence in the growing e-commerce market, demonstrated last week by a record 1,303 customers snapping up a single deal on leading local commerce website LivingSocial.
Originally launched in Lebanon as GoNabit in September 2010 and recently acquired by global e-commerce company LivingSocial, the site has enjoyed robust growth in both subscribers and merchants participating in the daily deals offered on the site. Although a relatively immature market in terms of online retailing, the country boasts high credit card penetration and an increasingly efficient ICT infrastructure that is helping to drive sustained growth for the company.
“It is clear from our consistent increase in subscribers, and certainly from the record response to this particular deal, that LivingSocial is delivering a much needed service to the Beirut community. As a pioneer in the online space in this market, we value the strong loyalty we have earned in a relatively short time period, and hope to bring many more deals of this kind to our consumers in Beirut,” said Dan Stuart, Managing Director, LivingSocial Middle East.
ABC Mall, with locations in Achrafieh and Dbayeh, has a history in Lebanon dating back to 1936 and is renowned for its family friendly environments. Rola Abboud, Events and Direct Marketing Manager of ABC Mall commented on the record-breaking online deal, “Participating in an online transaction to generate more on-ground traffic for our malls was an innovative concept to us and we have been delighted with the results. The degree of social media engagement and customer enquiries that have come through as a result of this deal have been extensive.”
A key element in the success of the LivingSocial business model lies in the sharing of the daily deals between friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. The viral effect generated by this activity was highlighted in the ABC Mall deal, with a staggering 37% of the purchases made through people sharing the deal link.
“The strength of personal recommendation and the social opportunities that LivingSocial deals offer highlight today’s business approach and the success behind our brand. Beirut has been quick to share deals, get great discounts and discover new things to see, eat and do,” added Stuart.