YOUR ULTIMATE LOCAL TOUR GUIDE AND A ONE STOP-SHOP IN THE REGION
Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Mohammed: This is Mohammed Al Eisa, joined along with my co-founders Talal Al Mousherji and Rawan Al Eisa.
How and when did the idea of the app come up?
Talal: Aybiz began as an idea that Mohammed, Rawan and I had in 2013. Mohammed had originally imagined Aybiz as a fully functional review app and communications platform. Groups of users could keep tabs on what new businesses are trending in the MENA region and visit them. Mohammed and I took this one step further by having those businesses sell their products directly on the platform.
When did you actually start work on developing the app and how long did it take to complete the App?
Talal: We first started working on Aybiz in 2015 and it took about 4 years of highs and lows for it to kick off. We got the doors slammed in our face over and over again and eventually the idea started to gain traction. Today we’re a testament that nothing is impossible if you’re consistent and believe in your idea.
Which memorable highs and lows did you encounter on the way?
Talal: One of our lows was not knowing whether or not our product would be viable and produce a response by the public. Our main intention was to create an open system where people can pitch in and provide their honest and unbiased opinion in the form of a review about a product they purchased or a business they visited. Aybiz’s rating system takes care of the rest by averaging out those reviews to help other users make more educated decisions on where to go and what to buy. One of our highs was when we started to see people using the app. It’s very exciting to provide a platform and see how people react and use it in different ways. It’s a very magical feeling.
How do you deal with risks?
Mohammed: Executing an idea without knowing how people will react was one of the biggest risks we had to deal with. Our team deals with risks by being persistent and not being afraid to pivot as technology continues to change. Sometimes you need to face problems head on and find creative methods to overcome them.
How did you come up with the name?
Mohammed: Ay in Arabic means “Any”. Biz in English means “Business”. Put the two words together and you get “Any Business”. Aybiz is what you get when data effortlessly blends with design. Discover new places to visit or shop from thousands of brands you love. It’s a beautifully designed app with a transparent review and rating system that works.
Tell us more about Aybiz and what makes it different from other Apps in the market?
Talal: Aybiz is not your conventional app. It’s a fun online directory for discovering local businesses that sell books, electronics, clothing, cosmetics, home, garden, health, beauty and much more. What makes Aybiz different is the way it helps level the playing field between small local businesses and mass chains in the MENA region, allowing them to earn new customers organically without the massive advertising budget. That’s one benefit out of many Aybiz provides to its business owners and customers.
When was the App officially launched?
Mohammed: The first version of Aybiz was initially launched in late 2017. Since then, we have pivoted and upgraded the app with special features to get to the point we’re in today.
How has been the response?
Talal: The response has been wonderful. We’re ecstatic about the number of people that have joined the platform. People are discovering and purchasing products from local businesses on Aybiz and providing their honest reviews about them. That was our goal initially and it makes us so happy to see that!
What are some of the popular categories on the App?
Talal: Health & Beauty is a big one. Home & Garden, Consumer Electronics and Baby products are also very popular on Aybiz.
Can people actually make purchases through the app or does it only provide the information?
Mohammed: It does both! Discover and Shop! People are able to read information about a business including their operating hours, location, amenities, ratings and reviews. Customers can additionally purchase products from those businesses and have it delivered to their door!
What is your target or goal with the App?
Talal: One of our main targets is to achieve transparency and perfect information on our database in the MENA region. Perfect information is when users get to know everything they need in order to make the best choice. Whether it’s choosing what cool place to visit next or what best product to buy, we want to educate users to be able to make the most well-informed decision possible.
What can we hope to see from Aybiz in the future?
Mohammed: There are many things in store for Aybiz in the future. We would like to provide as many businesses and products on our database as possible, so customers are able to find everything they want under one roof.
What’s your favorite features in the App?
Talal: All of them! But if we had to choose one it would be our product pages. We are really proud of that. We break down products into item specifications that help describe the product in detail. Item specifics are descriptive keywords that tell a buyer about an item. They may include brand, size, length, width, height, type, color or style and many more. Item specifics help customers get the most information possible out of a product to make a well informed decision.
Do you have expansion plans in the region?
Talal: Yes! We’re already in Kuwait and the UAE and are planning to expand to Saudi Arabia and Qatar by Q4.
Your message for us at CP magazine.
Mohammed: Please don’t give up on your idea! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s only you that sees that light. As cliche as it sounds, it works!