EBay-owned online comparison site Shopping.com, has launched in Australia.
The site allow users to search for, compare prices on, and buy, products from national and international retailers.
Initially some 200 Australian retailers will launch on the site to offer their wares against half a million other products available from international retailers.
Users of the site will also gain access to information on products and retailers via reviews penned by other users, media outlets, and the shopping.com-owned epinions.com.
Shopping.com's president and CEO, Lorrie Norrington, said with around 87 percent of internet users having bought online, Australia was an increasingly sophisticated market for e-commerce.
The local online shopping market was currently pegged a 5.5 million people and this figure was growing rapidly at 40 percent year on year, Norrington added.
She said local retailers would be attracted to the new site based on the average return experienced by retailers in the US.
“For every dollar a retailer invests [in shopping.com] they get 18 back,” she claimed. “That compares with around $4 for search engine [optimisation].”
“Consumers will be attracted by the abundance of products and through providing side by side comparisons, and by fully disclosing the full postage costs including sales taxes and shipping,” she said.
Norrington said that price wars – caused by the site’s head-to-head price comparisons -was not an issue for prospective shopping.com retailers.
“Only 10 percent [of users] click on the lowest price,” she said. “Trust and transparency are more important.”
The site would help maintain consumer confidence by monitoring its user reviews for profanity “to keep it family friendly” and to avoid retailers pumping up their own ratings and slamming their competitors, Norrington said.
Shopping.com Australia country manager, Shaun Cornelius, would not say what the expected local traffic would be, but said shopping.com experienced around 40 million global users per month.
Shopping.com launches in Australia
By Tim Lohman on May 23, 2006 8:30AM