We live in an indubitably consumer society, so it’s useless to try to deny that shopping—and a whole lot of it—is an essential part of life. As we have not yet regressed (or perhaps progressed) to living in a mass nudist colony, shopping for clothes is an inevitability. Many are completely okay with this; going to the mall or the local Walmart for a discounted t-shirt or ridiculously expensive pair of heels seems exciting at times. Thrilling.
But for others (myself included), shopping can be a chore. And in Lebanon, where I don’t even window shop in fear of my wallet spontaneously combusting from a distance, searching for the right outfit is a pain in the backside.
So when Serene Abbas and Narina Najm introduced us to their idea for Raghunter, we jumped on board. Like many on the Keeward team, the two fashionistas didn’t start out in their field of choice. They met while working in advertising at JWT and, in a semi-spontaneous leap of faith, decided to leave the company in favor of a start-up that encompassed their passions of all things fashion and digital. Along the way, they discovered Jad Sarout, the design and programming guru, and whom the girls like to endearingly refer to as the “missing link” in their journey into online fashion.
The concept of Raghunter is in the name. The website is host to thousands of items from clothing shops all across Lebanon. Raghunter isn’t an e-store shopping portal, because that’s not what the market wants. Research shows that online search for offline purchase is still a huge segment, and that fashion search engines are basically non-existent. It’s an entirely new concept in itself. A highly localized search engine allows you to search using the simplest of terms (e.g. “t-shirt”) to browse through local clothing store’s stocks for what you’re looking for.
With around 70 stores to date in their database and counting, Raghunter and Keeward have formed a unique partnership to help Lebanese shoppers find what they need in the fastest, easiest possible way. So far, we’ve guided them through their social media and online marketing campaigns, which are booming across Lebanese social platforms. We’ve collaborated on their business strategy and on building their value proposition, as well as providing the development and consulting team behind the website itself (UI, technology, design, etc.).
Currently, we’re in the development stages of a mobile app, which will use your phone’s GPS to refer you to the closet store with your item in stock.
Raghunter can essentially be your digital future closet. Looking for a new pair of heels? Check Raghunter. Need an outfit for a night out? Raghunter. Too busy to search through countless stores for that exact shade of purple your sister wants for her birthday? Raghunter.
In the past few months, the fashion team has expanded from offering their customers (who are adorably referred to as “hunters” on their social media) access to just a fashion directory, to an editorial section of the website, written by fashion experts and dedicated to enlightening the masses about Lebanon’s current fashion news, trends, and absurdities.
In the meantime, we as Keeward couldn’t be more thrilled to be working along with the ever exciting Raghunter team, and are forever grateful that our sanity (and the soles of our feet) have been saved from aimlessly wandering around Beirut Souks. Good riddance.