MENACatalyst met with the founders of Beidol Hazem Kiwan and Alaa Kiwan, to learn how this innovative startup is tapping into the power of social media influencers to drive sales and keep customers coming back.
What is Beidol and how does it work?
Beidol is a Palestine based social e-commerce platform specialized in beauty, skin, perfume and hair care products. To appeal to today’s digitally connected consumer, we integrated a new component to our platform, which is the social media influencer or, Idol as we like to call them.
When an Idol uses a product on their vlogs, they will provide a link to Beidol in the description to help potential customers easily purchase items from our platform. Since we launched in early 2020, we have grown to include a product list of over 800 items, and 80 to 90 percent of those items are assigned to our featured Idols.
Can you talk more about the Idols featured on your platform?
The Idol aspect of Beidol is what sets us apart from the rest. We currently feature local Palestinian influencers (affiliates) with dedicated profiles on the platform, which will include all the products featured on their vlogs. Each Idol’s profile will include a story as well as videos where they can share tutorials of their favorite products. Ultimately, this helps us as a company remain engaged with our customers in an innovative way.
As an incentive to our idols, every time a purchase made on their Beidol profile page they receive a share of the sales. This is made easier for them when they share a link to their profile on their social media pages, that way customers can directly visit their Beidol profile.
What is your long-term vision for Beidol?
We are currently focusing on beauty, skin, perfume and hair care products, but our long-term vision is to incorporate other industries such as fashion, shoes, apparel and bodybuilding, to name a few. While we currently deliver to cities across Palestine, including the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, and the 48 territories. We also are working to increase our community of Idols, and within the next year, we plan to expand to other neighboring Arab countries such as Jordan.
We are currently building a mobile application to streamline the process and to make it easier for our Idols to upload videos and products to their respective pages.
How do you spread the word?
In terms of marketing, our Idols have proven a strategic selling point for us. Because Idols mention us in their vlogs and social media posts and provide links to our platform for their followers to visit, we have received a lot of traffic to our website. For example, we were able to reach 20,000 visitors in our first hour of operation through shout outs and page links. We are confident that this strategy will continue to let us reach more people, grow our platform, and create the go-to e-commerce site for shoppers.
Who are the team members behind the platform?
We are three co-founders. I am Co-founder and CTO and responsible for all the technical aspects of the platform, such as development, and maintaining and monitoring the website. Alaa Kiwan is Co-founder and COO, and he is responsible for all our project operations, this includes logistics, finance, procurement and legal, contacting existing and new Idols, as well as different companies, and follow up on social media promotions. Tasneem Yousef is Co-founder and CPO, with her 7 years of experience in cosmetics field and in social media, she is responsible for deciding on brands and products required for Beidol, in addition to her role choosing idols – in compliance with Beidol strategy- along with other team members and making sure to meet their demands of products.
What is the impact you are working to achieve?
As we continue to grow and expand our areas of operation, we aim to create new jobs for young Palestinians, and ultimately improve unemployment rates. We also want online shoppers to have confidence in the whole process of online shopping and trust in the products they are purchasing. We will do this by purchasing 100 percent original products that are promoted on our Idols profiles.
To learn more visit: https://www.be-idol.com
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