It’s Thursday afternoon and you are stressed about the looming deadline at work. Your list of DIY projects at home is growing, and you really could just use an evening lounging before the weekend begins. Alas! You are headed to a dinner party tomorrow, and it’s essential you bring a dessert for your hosts. The thought of going to a sweet shop after work frustrates you, and your daydream of getting into sweats and lounging has been postponed for as long as it takes to find somewhere with those cupcakes you are looking for, and physically get yourself to the shop. Of course, you can always just call the shop, but that leaves a huge margin for error, and you want to make sure they get your order exactly right.
This is the exact dilemma Abdul wahab Al-Oraifan and his team of four found themselves in late December 2012. He says he realized that while the online shopping experience was available for electronics, savory foods and almost every other industry in Kuwait, desserts were under represented. At first, the thought was to create a directory to ease the search process. Users could search based on location, occasion or sweet type.
Then, Al-Oraifan realized that the niche in the exploding market of sweet treats in Kuwait was not just a directory, but a website that eliminated the physical errand of buying sweets all together. Enter q8desserts.com. You get to go home as soon as you are done, slip into those sweats and sit back on the couch to order exactly what you want. Now, you can do all the things you wanted to do, or just relax until the order gets delivered directly to your door.
For Al-Oraifan, the whole idea stemmed from a deep appreciation of desserts, and respect for the plethora of dessert businesses in the country.
“In Kuwait, the dessert stores are creative, really creative,” he said. “So competing with such talent is difficult. We decided to stay in this booming industry and try to help the stores by providing extra marketing, and assistance with deliveries.”
While the end-user is a deciding factor in the buying process, Al-Oraifan recognizes the importance of creating strong relationships with stores that share a mutual trust. He creates business partnerships by putting the establishments through a testing process to ensure that the website works for them, and their system of orders and delivery is compatible with the technology. However, getting the stores to recognize the value of online ordering has proven difficult.
“The biggest challenge has been to try to convince stores that this can help their business,” he said. “So what we did was give them complete ownership of the ordering process.”
Store owners are also put through a rigorous testing process to ensure their stores can handle orders, and are able to use the email verification system set up through the website. The team at Q8 Desserts monitors all orders, and ensures timely and accurate deliveries.
For the past three months Al-Oraifan and his team have been working tirelessly since launching the site in August to make sure that their site is perfect, and ready for the major goals they have for the next year. They intend to tackle the issue of ordering customized cakes. They are also working on a soon to be released Arabic version of the site, and a mobile app to ease ordering on the go.
Perhaps most useful is their goal to have a robust selection of Arabic sweets by the start of Ramadan in late July 2014.
So keep on the lookout for your favorite dessert shop on Q8desserts.com, where something sweet is coming.
Go to q8desserts.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @q8desserts.