HiDubai unveils new AI-backed deal discovery feature for smart shopping

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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HiDubai, Dubai-based leading business discovery platform, has introduced “HiDubai Deals,” a new feature that allows customers to find deals, discounts, and offers on their favorite brands at local stores and malls.

This is the first feature of its kind in the region, with map-enabled discovery backed by Artificial Intelligence (AI)-search capabilities. It aggregates all offline discounts and promotions from multiple brands across Dubai on a single platform.

Tejuri, a company specialized in digital technology investments that benefit Dubai based businesses, owns and manages HiDubai in partnership with Dubai Economy and Dubai SME.

With the growth of global eCommerce, users were shifting to eCommerce apps to discover products. In 2020, the eCommerce market was 8 percent of the retail sector in UAE. On the other hand, offline retailers were offering competitive deals to counter deep discounting by eCommerce platforms.

Unfortunately, the complexity and cost of taking this information to customers continued to be a practical challenge for retail businesses. HiDubai realized that there is a scope to address the “offline deal discovery” challenge faced by 92 percent of the retail sector.

The feature was first focused on retail customers during the minimal viable product (MVP) phase. However, it ended up solving a more significant challenge faced by retailers by offering a technology-enabled model to broadcast their deals, discounts, and offers.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi
Abdul Baset Al Janahi
Member – Board of Directors

“Dubai is a renowned shopping hub for residents and tourists alike. Our research in the past indicated a lack of information flow between the retail community and customers. There had been a surge of couponing and deal platforms circa 2008-2012 to solve this problem. We observed that such a model covers only a tiny portion of retailers who continuously offer deep discounting. The idea is sold to them under the pretext that the customers make repeat purchases.”

HiDubai collaborated with Algolia, a French AI-powered search and discovery platform, to develop an AI-powered search engine for this feature, allowing users to find deals by brand, store, mall, and even location. It was able to generate over 900,000 visitors during the beta stage, benefiting over 3,000 retailers in Dubai.

The HiDubai Team invested a lot in field efforts to keep the content fresh and relevant. Each offer goes live with a validity period, detailed description, brand information, and GPS-enabled store location. This feature is updated daily to ensure that shoppers never miss a sale. On an average day, shoppers can find 700 discount offers to choose from.

Retailers who want to use this facility need to claim their business on HiDubai through a simple 2-minute process. They have to visit the HiDubai website and then search for their business, and select ‘Claim Your Business.’ Retailers will be able to post offers on HiDubai Deals as soon as the claim is verified.

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