Following its acquisition in June 2011, the local commerce website GoNabit will be rebranded to Living Social Middle East, tomorrow. Marking the next evolution in regional e-commerce, the migration to the LivingSocial platform introduces a bigger and better local discovery experience for members and merchants, including buying and redeeming vouchers via a mobile application – a first for local commerce in the Middle East.
When Living Social Middle East goes live on 18thOctober, all existing GoNabit members will need to create a new account on LivingSocial in order to purchase the daily deals they receive each day. Outstanding GoNabit vouchers are still valid and can be accessed via the original GoNabit website until they expire. Any unused GoNabit store credit will also be transferred to the customer’s new LivingSocial account as LivingSocial Credit.
LivingSocial Middle East is confident the site will prove even more popular among consumers and merchants in the region, with its commitment to delivering the gold standard in e-commerce technology, combined with a brand promise to add surprise to every calendar.
“Our rebrand to LivingSocial Middle East brings a truly world-class e-commerce experience to the region and will be a real game-changer for social commerce here. Essentially, we are everything people have come to know and trust about GoNabit. We think combining our strong team, operating experience across the Middle East, and commitment to customer service with Living Social’s domain expertise – and now their great platform – is a big moment for the region. People no longer have to look outside the region and admire leading edge online businesses. Now, it’s here” said Dan Stuart, MD, LivingSocial Middle East.
Now part of Living Social’s fast-growing global family, Middle East members can enjoy access to more than 600 daily deal markets in 25 countries around the world, all from one account.
“Buying and redeeming deals while on the go via mobile is a fantastic development for our business, our subscribers and for our merchant partners too. It offers the convenience of paperless transactions and, through geo-location functionality, informs subscribers of unused vouchers for nearby merchants. We all want to use the vouchers that we’ve bought, and with this innovation, it’s now much easier for redemptions to fit into your life and what you do, when you do it,” added Stuart.
The daily deal experience also gets better for LivingSocial Middle East’s merchant partners thanks to the revised LivingSocial Merchant Center. The sophisticated merchant portal allows every LivingSocial partner to access deal analytics, download voucher lists and track the progress of their deal. Merchants can also access the recently released LivingSocial Merchant app that lets them manage voucher redemptions through an iPhone or iPad.
“We have the same business and marketing expertise that proved a game-changer in helping merchants to market their business and attract and retain new customers, but now we have the best-in-class tools to improve our merchant partner experience. The LivingSocial platform is constantly developing and we’ll be bringing a wave of improvements over time – there is much, much more to come,” said Sohrab Jahanbani, COO, LivingSocial Middle East.
LivingSocial Middle East will launch in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Cairo, Beirut and Amman. The regional team will also carry on GoNabit’s legacy of running the Family and Travel verticals, while continuing to grow into other product lines.
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Rushika Bhatia Editor
Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.