Golden Scent, an online store for genuine perfume and cosmetics, has served to bolster the e-commerce scene in the GCC. Founded in 2014, when it was first launched in Saudi Arabia, it now delivers perfumes and cosmetics of international premium brands throughout the UAE and Kuwait as well.
Having recently crossed 1 million app downloads with an increase in product portfolio by 250%, AMEinfo spoke with Golden Scent co-founder and CEO Malik Shehab.
Q. So, can you tell us how Golden Scent started?
A. When co-founder Ronny Froehlich and I were living in Europe, we noticed the boom of the e-commerce industry, especially in the beauty segment. Our first step was doing our research and business plan, and we found out that in GCC, people spend 4 to 6 times more on beauty than the average person in Europe.
With the added unique benefits the e-commerce provides, such as shopping in the comfort of your home and the variety of options to choose from, we knew Golden Scent would be a success, and the journey started.
Q. What challenges did you face setting up the business, and what challenges are you currently facing?
A. When we started the business we had some challenges in finding the right talents with e-commerce experience, as e-commerce was relatively new in the region. To overcome this challenge, we started looking for talents from around the area and investing in e-commerce training for our employees to always stay on top of e-commerce trends and strategies.
Today, the challenges are completely different than when we first started, as we are becoming bigger in size and gaining more employees. Therefore, the challenges we are facing today stem more from building processes and structures that can improve the workflow and communications between the teams to have a smooth and seamless process.
Q. What is your opinion of the e-commerce market in the Middle East in regards to your business?
A. I’m thrilled how e-commerce is developing and getting bigger and bigger by the day. E-commerce is taking over, and we see all the major offline retailers starting to invest in their e-commerce platforms realizing that it’s a necessity now, and not an added advantage anymore.
Q. Can you tell us about any expansion plans you have to branch out into the wider GCC market?
A. We recently expanded to UAE and Kuwait and opened a warehouse in Dubai to be closer to our suppliers and serve our customers in the best way possible. Expanding even further to the rest of GCC is definitely in our business plan.
Q. Can you tell us about your demographic?
A. Golden Scent is for every fragrance and beauty lover at any age in the region. Therefore, we see an almost equal split between both genders and their age is between 18 – 30 years old.
Q. Do you collaborate with beauty influencers? How effective do you find them at marketing a product or service?
A. Yes, we collaborate with beauty influencers and other kinds of influencers in the region.
Most people are very active on social media today, and they follow influencers. Collaborating with these influencers is efficient only when you know how to work with them.