Mona Ataya, Founder and CEO of Mumzworld

Mona Ataya has proven to be one of the Middle East’s most prominent of women entrepreneurs. The co-founder of Bayt.com, arguably the most successful online search engine for jobs in the Middle East, is now working to disrupt the well-ingrained retail space in the Middle East with the goal of assisting mothers with their maternity, infant and childcare product needs. Ataya’s latest venture is Mumzworld.com, a leading gold standard e-commerce vertical for baby and child shopping in the Middle East region that has been going from strength to strength.

mona ataya

Why did you start Mumzworld?

Less than four years ago, I was running a successful recruitment company called Bayt.com. The website was fast becoming the Middle East’s leading job site and, as co-founder, it took up a lot of my time.

Meanwhile, I was raising my three young children who were acquiring new needs every day. Being time-starved limited me making informed choices for my children. Products lived in stores spread around the city and, even if I had the time to browse, I was confronted with a lack of transparent and comprehensive information regarding baby and child products. I was active in the UAE’s mother community and soon realised that my risk-averse friends shared my frustrations. The market demand was undeniable; women wanted to be empowered by making informed decisions efficiently. 

The blatant consumer need, coupled with the prospect of an attractive fast-growing industry of baby e-commerce, led to the birth of Mumzworld. Our vision is to become the indispensable online extension of a mother’s life and the largest mother baby and child company in the region.

 

What initial challenges did you face with Mumzworld?

Hesitation over security issues is typical of an underdeveloped e-commerce market. When Mumzworld first started payment gateways were still in their infancy and many customers were uncomfortable placing their credit card information online. The trepidation has, however, slowly subsided and today over 60% of Mumzworld customers place orders using credit cards instead of cash on delivery.

As a mother and baby store, delivery speed has always been a priority for us. In the early days we were at the mercy of large courier companies and worked within the existing courier ecosystem with long lead times. This process has also matured in the past three years with large players like Aramex leading the way in fast and reliable delivery. We have been working with Aramex closely this year to define strong standards for Mumzworld across the entire region.

Marketing plays a key role in popularising online shopping. Our aim was to reach customers through credible venues. Mumzworld has been very fortunate to join hands with some of the most influential mother and baby institutions like schools, hospitals and playgroups. These relationships allow us to stay abreast with mothers’ needs in the region and ensure that we continue to improve our products and services.

 

 

Do mothers in the MENA region prefer to shop online?

The key drivers to online shopping are: abundant choice, full transparency, and convenience. Our online store offers mothers the single most extensive online catalogue of thousands of products from a wide range of local and international sellers. Today Mumzworld carries over 100,000 products – the largest database of baby and child products in the region. We display comprehensive product information in English and Arabic, allowing mothers to make informed decisions with a best price guarantee. Our website also provides mothers with a content-rich community blog which acts as a sticky feature and offers guidance on all aspects of motherhood.

In regard to convenience, we offer a shopping experience for the time-starved mother, delivering within two to three days for free in the UAE and within five to seven days across the region. Finally, technology remains a key aspect in making e-commerce viable for a customer. Online stores must operate intelligently and guide the customer through a seamless experience that encourages browsing. If technology fails on any touch point with the customer (e.g. slow site speed, buggy features, illogical design), customers abandon the site and rarely return. We optimise and enhance our technology daily to ensure that the shopping experience is intelligent, seamless, and enjoyable.  

 

What does Mumzworld do to ensure a stress-free shopping experience for its users?

Mumzworld offers a reliable shopping experience for mothers who do not have the time to compare products in several physical stores; instead users have the universe of everything mother, baby, and child available at their fingertips.

We prioritise the importance of offering mothers value for money as well as quality. Our online store displays comprehensive and transparent product information for every available product. This allows for quick and easy comparison of price, specifications and other key information. The site will also display independent consumer product reviews.

The Mumzworld website dynamics are highly functional and reliable, offering shoppers a quick and simple shopping experience. We also recognize the need for unique features that enhance our brand such as a gift registry, baby registry, blog, loyalty program, and a CSR program to give back to the community through mother enrichment programs.

Related Features