By Sarah Falson
SYDNEY: Sony Australia national sales manager, David Hargreaves, has told Current.com.au that he has no formal association with the website Smartshopper.com.au, which was launched earlier in the week, even though the online business features his products.
Hargreaves confirmed that though Sony products appear on the site, they are not being supplied by Sony Australia, but rather individual retailers who stock Sony products.
Over 35 electrical brands including Panasonic, LG, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel and Miele are among the brands being sold online through Australia’s first ever retail-driven shopping website, Smartshopper.com.au, which launched on Tuesday.
The website is designed to work with both customers and retailers in a bid to encourage the shoppers to purchase products through physical retail outlets rather than online virtual stores.
Brands ranging from small appliance to home electrical vendors may sign up, with categories such as laundry, telecommunications, home electrical and digital cameras and video only the beginning of a growing list of items that may be advertised on the site.
The website works on a ‘reverse-auction’ basis, whereby internet-using consumers input the product they want to buy, and the distance they’re willing to travel to purchase it, and registered retailers across the country have a chance to offer the best price they can, within seven days from the consumer’s request.
Each retailer has only one chance to impress, and if the customer accepts the offer they must travel to the store to complete the monetary transaction and handover of goods.
“Everyone wins with Smartshopper.com.au,” said the managing director of the website, Michael Rihma, in a press release distributed last week.
“Retailers get consumers back into their stores, giving them the chance to close the Smartshopper.com.au sales, up- and cross-sell as well as start a new consumer relationship. The consumer gets the best price, safe in-store transaction, convenience and personal service.
“According to research from AC Nielson, 5.9 million shoppers use the internet to save time, money and hassles. With Smartshopper.com.au retailers can now finally have a piece of this market," Rhima said.
Users may also search through a database of items, each with an image and recommended retail price, promoting impulse and wishlist purchases.
Retailers must pay a start-up fee of $2,640, which gives them full access to Smartshopper.com.au