A Dubai-based e-commerce platform has this week launched the region's first complete protection plan for consumer electronics.
JadoPado Shield will provide accidental protection and warranty rolled into a single product, which includes cover for cracked screens and water damage.
Since last week, the offering is being bundled with every product sold, with upgrade options available to protect against theft and overseas incidents.
"This is a unique offering not only online, but offline as well," claimed Omar Kassim, JadoPado's Founder. "This level of protection and similar insurance products have penetrated really well in the UK and the rest of Europe, but we're the first to market in the UAE."
Partnering with German financial service firm Allianz Global Assistance, JadoPado has set out to give more compelling reasons for the Middle East consumers to shop online, in addition to pricing and convenience.
"There's an expectation that online prices should be lower, but you can only compete on cost for so long. We've moved to competing on a value service. It's an overall experience that should include protection for the consumer, smooth delivery and so on," he said.
The retailer is sticking to electronics for the foreseeable future, but Kassim admits there are other innovations in the pipeline, both in terms of what is sold and how: "When you're focused on doing one thing well, that's when you can start to add value to your offering," he added.
Volumes of electronic sales are mushrooming, not only in the UAE, but across the GCC. Currently
1.7 billion mobile devices are being sold annually, compared to 350 million PCs – but consumers are switching and upgrading their devices all the more frequently.
Kassim is slowly moving JadoPado away from being purely an e-commerce business, towards what he describes as 'a slow pivot' to a more holistic consumer engagement platform. With the two-month old 'JadoPado Learn' initiative, Kassim is enhancing the synergy between quality content and monetisation.
"E-commerce always needs good content to generate traffic and content is always looking for ways to monetise – e-ecommerce is one of those methods," he told AMEinfo. "We could turn around to a brand today and offer to sell their product and get it out quickly, but we could also advertise to customers and source independent product reviews. There are lots of different ways to engage with consumers."
"We're slowly getting to this juxtaposition between e-commerce and content where you can start to see a lot more interesting things than if you were just a pure transactional platform," he added.
Content includes 'how-to' guides, product reviews and lists of top 5 websites within different categories. "Great content drives great traffic and if you're getting great traffic, it becomes easier to convert that to purchasing customers."
With an annual turnover of $4m as of March 2013, JadoPado has more than 100,000 visitors and 500,000 page views on a monthly basis, with an e-commerce experience available across 160 countries.