Who’s on sale at Whatsonsale?

By Martin Vedris

MELBOURNE: The latest website to direct customers towards retailers, whatsonsale.com.au, has actually been around for 10 years. The portal lists electrical retailers Retravision, The Good Guys, Just Klapp, Camberwell Electrics and  Encel Stereo, along with Myer, among its retail customers.

Whatsonsale.com.au lists specials and discounts currently offered by retailers and provides a link to the retailer’s site with their contact details.

There is an annual fee for the service, which includes email campaigns as well as the website listing, that the retailer can change as often as they like.

“We’ve been told we’re so cheap it’s not funny,” said Pat Walsh, the website’s founder and managing director.

“We also do email campaigns and we don’t charge extra … we can give clicks reports to let them know the traffic. For the money they also get access to our other sites, we also have boxigndaysales.com.au, stocktakesales.com.au, christmassales.com.au, mothersdaysales.com.au and fathersdaysales.com.au.

“We promote those sites in mainstream media, for example boxingdaysales will be promoted in The Age this year in Melbourne.”

As any business knows, just having a website is no guarantee that it will attract visitors. Just like generating leads in the physical world has a cost, so to does it cost to attract visitors to a site on the internet.

“Every email platform will cost you from $500 per send, depending on what email platform you want to go on,”” said Walsh of other online marketing services. “Then trying to buy you own Google ad words … it would be a bidding war and they would go anywhere from 50 cents to $1.80 a click.”

Walsh cited the experience of a furniture retailer in NSW.

“This guy has had something like 17,000 views in the last six weeks,” he said. “So if he tried to buy that level of traffic to get that level of information delivered out, it would have probably cost him anywhere between $6,000 and $17,000 and it cost him a lot lot less with us.”

Like anything, the output is only as good as the input and Walsh says that having a good sales offer is critical to success because whatsonsale.com.au is not a price comparison site, it is for listing sales, sale items and special offers.

“It’s up to your sale and your offer as to whether people are going to take it further and go onto your site. But on our site, retailers don’t pay per view and they don’t pay per clicks … and they can change their ads as often as they like… we give them access, they can change it every hour or every day.”

Whatonsale.com.au also needs to advertise and market itself to generate the views it then generates for its retail clients.

 “We did a lot of radio," said Walsh. "We’re in the SMH up in Sydney, we had a stretched Hummer limousine wrapped with whatsonsale driving around Sydney for a couple of weeks. We use a lot of Google in terms of both paid and organic searches, so it’s a mixture of above and below the line.

“Also, I’ve got 10 to 12 sales consultants out on the road … we try to build relationships for the longer term. We do a bit of door knocking, cold calling because as a retailer, how many sales calls do they get a day, from someone trying to flog them space, so we try not to be that somebody.”

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