This post originally appeared on the JadoPado Blog and has been re-produced here to preserve the JadoPado historical record.

It’s been 329.1 days since we launched JadoPado on the 20th of March 2011. It’s been an exhilarating ride.

We’ve hit a top line revenue number of USD 1 million in 10 months and 10 days.

Thank you to absolutely everyone. It’s been an absolute pleasure serving all of you. We really really appreciate the tremendous support from all of our customers, partners and vendors.

When we started planning JadoPado in September 2010, the idea of a self delivering, full inventorised e-commerce business based of Dubai serving only Dubai was a gamble. Today, not only have we seen some of our competitors follow suit in terms of our self deliver model (yes, we’re looking at you ;)) but our experiences thus far have shown that not only is Dubai (and the rest of the UAE) a pretty early adopter “let’s-give-it-a-shot-cause-it’s-new” market, it’s quickly turning into a very hot e-commerce market. Onwards and upwards.

Here are some of the things that we felt were important in getting to this milestone:

  1. Live Social, Stay Social. Facebook, Twitter and just talking to customers over the phone has become a cornerstone of our business. We’ve built our selves to be available across multiple channels for as much of the day as possible. On occasion we tweet at midnight just because we feel like it. We discuss the best cheesecake in town because it’s heaps more fun than shouting out the latest and greatest promo the world has ever seen. *yawn*. Customers are intelligent, well informed and it’s important to talk to them rather than at them. It’s a missed opportunity if you waste their time with pointless drivel.
  2. Build It & They Will Come. We’ve not spent much money on marketing or getting the word out, but we continue to spend a lot of time designing, building and tweaking our look and feel. It’s all in the details. Why did that button not click as nicely as the other one? Adjust by one pixel. Do you really need a billing address? (Long experienced answer: Yes — for fraud management). Do you need to create an account with us to check out? (Answer: No. Absolutely not. 44% of orders are from Guests). We’re strong believers in doing it really well or not doing it at all.
  3. It’s all in the Pricing. Pricing your product or service correctly is absolutely critical. A little too high and your customers move over to the competition (while letting you know — publicly!) a little too low and you’re eating into your margins. The right balance to bring in your customers while giving them better value than what they may get elsewhere is essential. Our strategy is to be as competitive as we can be, across the board. One important choice that we made was to never charge for delivery. We treat it as an overhead that we have to manage.
  4. Under Promise. Over Deliver. Every Single Day. One of our key differentiators has been to not sell anything that we don’t have available in our own inventory. This is important so that we don’t commit to a sale when we dont’t actually have the product available. Local and regional supply chains tend to be fairly unreliable. We coupled the inventory approach alongside using our own delivery fleet in order to be able to tweak our delivery model on the fly and on occasion satisfy some very time sensitive customers. We never allow ourselves to commit to something that we can’t deliver on. Under promise with a three hour delivery slot and then try hit it out of the park by delivering in two.
  5. Believe In Yourself. It’s easy to get weighed down when things aren’t going right, when you find yourself fighting tooth and nail to be heard, to remain relevant. Believe in yourself when no one else will. Fight for yourself and your business. The vast majority of the time your sheer determination will win the day. Inshallah. Eventually.

In the larger scheme of things our milestone is a little one, however we’re hopeful that it is a strong indicator of what is to come for the industry. The regional e-commerce market is growing quickly as consumers start treating online as a serious consumption channel. Our numbers also hopefully bode well for the local start up scene and may even provide a bit of impetus to those sitting on the sidelines wondering if they should jump into the fray. Seize the day.