All of your favourite brands at your fingertips, without the delivery dramas.
You know how annoying it is when you’ve spent hours trawling through an online store, only to get to the checkout and discover they don’t ship to the UAE (or will charge you an arm and a leg to do so)?
Well, this new app could be the solution. Mall for the World has just launched in the Middle East, giving online shoppers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar access to more than 100 US-based fashion, beauty, homeware and tech stores.
That includes at least 50 stores that have, until now, not been easily accessible in the region – like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, eBags, and Urban Outfitters.
The app also features plenty of stores that already exist here, like Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic and Bebe. However, Mall for the World gives UAE shoppers access to products from these brands which might only be available in the US (we’re looking at you, Sephora Ultimate Travel Bag).
The app streamlines the whole online shopping process, taking care of shipping, clearing and delivery.
“Our mission is to provide a simple way for merchants to sell into countries where they don’t ship and for customers, the ability to purchase items from foreign websites as conveniently as possible,” Chris Folayan, CEO of Mall for the World said.
So, how does it work?
Mall for the World can be downloaded as a mobile app, or as a Chrome extension.
You then visit any of the participating online stores, and add items to your cart as usual.
When the time comes to check out, instead of going through the shopping site’s normal process, a Mall for the World button appeats. It calculates the currency conversion and shipping fee, and completes the transaction for you.
We decided to give it a try, hunting down a Comme des Garcons Play t-shirt we’ve been coveting on the Nordstrom website.
Going through the normal site (which already ships to the UAE), the t-shirt cost Dhs493.80, with a shipping fee of Dhs91.75 – bringing us to a total of Dhs585.51.
When we used the Mall for the World feature, it gave us the t-shirt price in US dollars – $125. Shipping cost $13, and there was a convenience fee of $6.25.
When converted into dirhams, the total came out at Dhs529 – a saving of Dhs56.51.
We found a similar CDG t-shirt on the Bloomingdale’s website (which also ships to the UAE), priced at Dhs474.05.
With an ordinary shipping charge of Dhs122.03, the total worked out to be Dhs596.08.
Using the Mall for the World feature, the t-shirt was $127.99, with a shipping charge of $13 and convenience fee of $6.40.
After the currency conversion, the total was Dhs541 – a saving of Dhs55.
We think this could be a dangerous new toy for our inevitable online shopping binges this summer…