Australian start-up Dealush.com, a new online network for local retail sales, has officially launched in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Founded last year by James McGrath and Carl Trandafilovic, Dealush provides an online venue for retailers and consumers to locate, share, rate and discuss shopping sales happening in offline stores.
McGrath says despite the exponential growth of online shopping, he is confident traditional retail will continue to remain relevant to consumers.
“We thought the real-life market of shopping was a bit neglected. [Other] online start-ups are mostly concentrating on online sales and online deals,” he says.
“[Offline sales] are not a small niche – there’s a lot of money in offline shopping. It’s a fairly different market so we’ve created products to appeal to those retailers.”
“Most deal sites are about coupons or group buying. We’re going for a more traditional approach by creating a network around [retailers’] promotions and sales.”
Dealush differs from other sites in that sales searches are location-based. In addition to using Facebook and Twitter as networking platforms, the company is also developing a mobile phone app to help users locate sales while on the run.
Dealush has also launched a private beta, which involves restricting new sign-ups to people invited by existing members, or by entering a private beta code. This allows the Dealush team to test new features on a select group of internet-savvy users.
McGrath and Trandafilovic, both of whom are software developers, believe it’s a good time to be entering the market, as traditional retailers are beginning to recognise the threat of online retail.
“The growing trend of people looking online means we’re in a position to appeal to traditional retailers,” McGrath says.
“Yes, online retailing will shake out a lot of [offline] operators, which is sad. In the end, all retailers will be looking for opportunities to get their voice heard online.”
With regard to monetising the site, McGrath says basic applications will be free although retailers can choose to pay for additional exposure.
“We’re aiming to make money out of retailers by providing a service worth paying for. The plan at this stage is to charge retailers for added value via things like metrics, higher search results, and extra promotion on other pages,” he says.
“The beauty of this market is that it’s all about sales so there’s money to be made. We’re already working with a number of retailers to work out the best ways to value-add.”
“Retailers will soon be able to have bulk upload sales or list sales in multiple locations, which is ideal for retailers with multiple outlets.”