Story Behind Soon-To-Be Private Boutique Shopping Club Odezy [Exclusive Interview]
“Our vision is for Odezy.com to be synonymous with design throughout the MENA region.” - Omar ElSahy, Founder & CEO.
Omar is a serial entrepreneur with 5 startups under his belt, including Dealwaty, Egypt’s first and only high-end luxury daily deal site. After completing his education in Engineering Management, he worked in various fields including the defense sector, distribution, ecommerce, outsourcing and sustainment systems. His experience in merchandizing and commerce has led him now to his 6th venture, Odezy, a design focused private boutique shopping club.
“I decided to leverage my years managing multiple Internet based campaigns and retail distribution to cultivate a range of niche specific e-commerce businesses.”
So what made him chose a private shopping club for his latest venture? Omar explains:
“Luxury fashion flash sales businesses are approaching an inevitable impasse due to shrinking supply of inventory and growth in users and competitors. In response, they will eventually begin going down-market to lesser-known brands, offering smaller discounts, and even expanding to full-price offerings.”
Odezy on the other hand differs from flash sales in several ways. Firstly, it is does not rely on excess inventory, less than 5% of sales come from liquidation stock from retailers; secondly, it has low working capital requirements as 90% of the products are sourced directly from the brands; and finally low return rates due to absence of sizing issues.
Scaling the business depends heavily on the relationship Odezy will be able to establish with its customers which, if successful, would lead to high lifetime value compared to traditional ecommerce sites. “Coupled with low customer acquisition costs and our social/viral invite model, this business could really scale up nicely.”
Another advantage would be the diverse products Odezy will offer. “Design is a horizontal market; cutting across numerous vertical categories (…) our product range is bounded only by good design, not by category.” That makes it possible to partner in specific verticals with competing flash sales sites, he concluded.
My last question to Omar, the one that boggled my mind for days, was about the name Odezy. His reply: “O, being a sign of disbelief at the beauty of the designed products, DEZ is a calling for design, and the Y represents the word "my" being the designer who now has a platform to market his or her creations to the world... To be brief, the name Google worked so why not Odezy!”
Odezy will initially cater only to the Egyptian market, but the team plans to quickly enter Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Qatar, after securing a first round of investment.