The M-Commerce Revolution

Remember ebay? Yes, that was a while back. When ebay first came on the scene, it was the e-commerce revolution! All the little guys could now sell online. Whether you were online or offline, you now had a platform for an e-store. You finally had an answer to all those customers that asked if you had an online store. And then came the e-commerce platforms that provided turn-key solutions for an online e-store. Just select a template, upload your catalog and you’re ready to go. Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but your e-store is no longer enough, it’s time to go mobile.

Why You Need an m-Store: Selling on Mobile

Worldwide, 30% of ecommerce site traffic came from mobile in 2013. Souq.com, the Amazon, of the MENA region recently revealed that 40% of its sales (and growing) come from mobiles. They predict that mobile will be the main way to shop by 2015. All over the world, all eyes are turning to mobile, with Facebook declaring itself a mobile-first company along with their acquisition of Whatsapp (a mobile-only messaging platform) for a whopping $19B. If you’re still not convinced that mobile is the way to go, then you should stop reading.

There are already many on the cutting edge who have taken to Instagram to set up their m-stores. And you know what? They are doing great. But Instagram is a photo-sharing app, not an m-commerce platform. And I can hear others now proudly boasting about their mobile responsive website. Sorry, but responsive just doesn’t cut it. Consumers prefer native apps, enough said. And an icon on their phone reminds them to go shopping, while a web browser on a phone takes the user everywhere but to your responsive website.

How is the mobile shopping experience different?

You might still be scratching your head and wondering: what makes the mobile shopping experience different? The answer is: the mobile phone. The mobile phone is with you everywhere you go. You pull it out of your pocket or purse at every dull moment in your day. You push the home button and you’re instantly connected. You can’t do this with a laptop. With the mobile, you can shop on demand; you can shop for the bag you just saw on a billboard as you whizzed by on the metro. You can do price research for the vacuum cleaner for which you are standing in line to pay for. The mobile is a tool for instant communication, it is always on and always with you. Imagine chatting with a salesperson as you browse his store catalog while sitting at the doctor’s waiting room. The mobile is a tool for social interaction, you take pictures and videos, share them with friends, comment on things your friends share with you on a plethora of different social networks right on one device. In the shopping context, you can ask your friends for recommendations and advice on purchases as you shop. Shopping on the mobile is an engaging experience that cannot be replicated on the web.

What should you look for in a m-store platform? 

So at this point, you see the need to start selling on mobile. Assuming you are not amazon.com, you probably don’t have the resources or time to devote to building your very own m-commerce app. Instead, you want a turnkey solution that will allow you to get started instantly. In order to leverage the mobile shopping experience to grow sales, here are some things you should look for in an m-store platform.

  • It’s a native app – Native apps use phone hardware like the camera, location services, and integration with other apps in ways that a “responsive website” doesn’t.
  • The app looks good and is easy/stupid to use – UI/UX is very important when your screen is only 4-5 inches long. If the app is not dead simple to use, say hello to the uninstall button.
  • The platform is social – By this, I do not mean that it has a share to Facebook button. Share button does not social make. When I say social, I mean that a community can be formed within the app because the app has “public spaces” for users to engage in. Often, this means an activity feed, comments, likes/shares, and follows. Think Twitter or Instagram.
  • It has a built-in chat platform – Nothing is more powerful than mobile chat, it is a medium of communication that has taken the world by storm. Don’t take my word for it, just think Whatsapp at $19B.

Download the Melltoo app and checkout how we have integrated all of these things to make m-commerce easier than ever in the UAE!

Go forth and sell on mobile. Welcome to web 3.0.

Create your Melltoo M-boutique in 5 Simple Steps

Are you an Instagram seller who needs a real m-store? Or are you a brick & motar retailer who wants to sell your products on mobile? Here’s your chance. Set-up a Melltoo  m-boutique today in 5 easy steps. mStore_StepbyStep

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Sell on Melltoo & Win “1 Million” by Paco Rabanne

Sell & Win

Sell & Win Instructions

SELL & WIN

Sell your stuff on Melltoo and win “1 Million” by Paco Rabanne!

How does it work? (see picture also)
1. Post an item (new/used) for sale on Melltoo
2. Tweet about your item from the ad details screen
3. Ask your friends to retweet your ad
4. The user with the highest number of retweets wins!

Terms & Conditions:
– To be eligible, user must post a NEW item for sale
– Retweets by same user only counts once
– Be sure to mention @melltoo_me in tweets
– Winner may choose “1 Million” or “Lady Million” by Paco Rabanne
– Prize delivered to location of user’s choice by courier
– Contest period begins on Sunday 16th March 2014 to Saturday 22nd March 2014.
– Winners are announced on 24th March here on Facebook and on Twitter (follow @melltoo_me)
– Winners will be contacted on the Melltoo app via chat, by email, and on twitter

May the best tweeter win!

To download Melltoo:


Final Launch Event in Dubai – Don’t miss it!

betaLaunch_theCribb2

Join us for our final private launch event in Dubai @ The Cribb. Be among the first to experience classifieds like never before.

Date: Wed, 19th March 2014

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

The founders of Melltoo will share their startup journey of how a couple of non-tech people built a mobile app that re-invents the classifieds marketplace.

The event will also be an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs in Dubai and to check out the co-working space @ The Cribb.

Be the first to buy and sell on Melltoo. Bring your smartphone (iOS/Android) and something to sell (or a picture of something to sell).

RSVP today for the event you wish to attend. Space is limited and is available on a first come first serve basis.

For directions, search The Cribb on Google Maps or call +971 4 319 7645.

How to Buy and Sell in Dubai Responsibly

So as I’m writing this, I’m debating whether I should buy a new laptop. I have my eye on the 13-inch MacBook Air which I’m told is the best thing since the dishwasher. I go back and forth: My current 10-inch netbook Selling Macbook Air in the UAEworks fine, but it’s really slow and it’s plasticky and pretty old-fashioned. I really need something faster with updated specs. I am a researcher after all, so much of my work requires me to be on the computer, looking for sources, playing with spreadsheet data, writing, communicating etc.

By this point, I’m nearly out the door on the way to Plug-ins to pick up the MacBook Air, having pretty much convinced myself that I NEED the upgrade, but then I feel a slight pang of guilt. Do I really need a new computer when I have an iPad for reading  journal articles and my iPhone of course? Not really. And what the heck am I supposed to do with my netbook? Let it rot away in the closet? Thankfully, I don’t have to ask that question anymore, because we built a marketplace app to solve this problem: Melltoo.
Like most families in the UAE, my closets are bursting, my kids’ closets have burst (literally, the bottoms of drawers have fallen out, hinges have popped) and we are swimming in clothes, toys, electronics and color pencils. In the past, there were only two easy solutions to get rid of something: giving it away or throwing it away. But you don’t have to worry about the “UAE Consumer Guilt Paradox” anymore because Melltoo allows you to download and post your second hand items in less than 5 minutes!Selling Kids Toys in the UAE
But the app is more than just a marketplace, it’s a complete door-to-door service that allows you to buy and sell in Dubai guilt-free! Not only do we help you promote your second hand items to thousands of potential buyers, you can get paid on the app and get items delivered straight to your buyer without getting stuck in traffic or getting lost on your way to a meetup! No one said that being a responsible consumer meant you had to be inconvenienced one!

I love the idea of buying and second hand, because it allows me to reconcile my consumerist lifestyle with the ideas of minimalism and sustainability. Why not recycle the stuff that you don’t use anymore by selling them to others who will use them AND get some money back on your investment- so you can make room for the new stuff. And let’s not kid anyone, we’d feel much better about our consumeristic ways knowing that we’re not just throwing perfectly good stuff out. So get ready to declutter your home, buy what you want and feel good about it with Melltoo!