How many times have you went shopping for a specific product only to find yourself visiting different stores and driving all over town to buy what you were actually looking for? This has happened to Lisa Kawar as she was looking for a 2-in-1 washing machine/dryer; she wasted some valuable hours spread over several days wandering around Amman until she finally found the product she was looking for. Lucky for us, she decided this problem must be solved. That’s when she started working on her startup, menwayn.com (which means in Arabic “from where”), The startup was incubated at Oasis500 since May 2011 and is quickly progressing towards general availability.
Lisa, the founder and CEO of menwayn.com, believes that technology can transform the way we shop, giving consumers a transparent market, valuable relevant information about products in their local market, and empowering them to make smarter shopping decisions. This is her vision of menwayn.com, which, according to Lisa, is the first portal of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region, that connects brick and mortar stores with local consumers, creating a strong online presence for any offline retail shop.
Menwayn.com, which is available now in beta version, can be used in both English and Arabic languages, and contains so far over 1500 products available in over 25 stores in Jordan, focusing on home electrical appliances, computers, and photography. These numbers are rapidly increasing as more retailers see the value in an online presence. The goal is to become the first destination for consumers to look for goods and products before taking their decision of purchasing.
Menwayn.com offers visitors of the website the ability to search for products by brand name, retailers, price range and product features. In 5 simple clicks, you could find the nearest location offering the latest iPad, or the cheapest available oven made by a certain brand of a specific size. At this stage, menwayn.com provides users with information about products and stores’ location with their contact details, but with the launch of the website’s alpha version, users will be able to buy online, with exclusive prices and offers for the website users only.
As for the retailers, their participation in Jordan is free, which means that they can list as many of their products as they wish with no charge at all. Lisa mentioned that menwayn team is working closely with the retailers to upload their content and providing them with basic training on managing their own inventory on the website in order to promote their products. She views this as a win-win situation since retailers will gain more leads from extending their products onto another channel.
As for what the future holds, Lisa is sure that menwayn is solving a real problem for consumers, and providing real value for retailers – so she is optimistic about the company’s prospect of being a success. She is realistic about the hard work needed to make this happen, and hopeful that in the future this will be further expanded to the whole of the MENA region.
We wish the menwayn.com team good luck and hope one day it will become one of the success stories in the region.