Dubai: One beauty-focussed digital portal sure knows the value of a slow build-up. The platform, selfologi, will go through a soft launch and then pivot to paid services for its range of cosmetic treatments.
The focus in the first four months will be to spread the word on the ins and outs of cosmetic trends, and allow users to compare treatments and then make the decision. Once the full service mode is launched, users on the site can book appointments with a consultant of their choice.
“Currently, almost all cosmetic treatments are booked offline, with consumers not having access to updated, regionally-relevant information that can aid their decision-making when it comes to something as personal as cosmetic treatments and procedures,” said Rob Pye, CEO.
Early next year, users will be able to book cosmetic treatments directly on the site in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Cosmetic clinics and practitioners can join the platform to raise their visibility and allow clients to book appointments online.
The combined value of cosmetic treatments that happen across the Middle East each year
But why wait a few more months to offer online booking and more? “With our strategy to serve as the most trusted source of info on cosmetic treatments, the next few months are crucial in building the trust of consumers and cosmetic treatment practitioners. We see this as a value-added investment in our operational strategy.
“We see long-term value in building a community first, so when clinics join our platform, our audience will already be better informed and have the info they need to book online. Today, most cosmetic treatment discovery and booking is driven by word of mouth.
“We are informing consumers of the diverse range of treatment options and connecting them directly to the best clinics and practitioners for them.”
Funds in hand to be patient
It has got quite a sizeable funding in place to see through the upcoming months – and even longer. The portal secured $17.5 million in seed funding in June last, a round which was led by its founder Tamer Wali and the Xenel International group.
Until now, digital portals related to beauty and skincare have been dominated by ecommerce ones. This is what selfologi wants to change and the trends are favourable. More than a million Google searches are conducted each month on cosmetic treatments in the Middle East.
And its own data suggests that over $2.2 billion worth of cosmetic treatments take place across the region annually. But a “huge proportion of the consumers surveyed said that they cannot find the right information to book a treatment online,” the portal added.
Pye does not believe that his portal should be stocking and selling cosmetic brands. “While most platforms focus purely on the bottom of the funnel, we see value in offering a true end-to-end experience, focusing on every part of the funnel, from awareness, to consideration and ultimately conversion. One of the unmet needs in the region - which has significant demand for cosmetic treatments - is a lack of in-depth information. Addressing this is crucial for consumers to make the right choice for them.”