Online retail start-up Tarazz.com.au says it will increase its offering to as many as three million items within the next year, after teaming up with Australia Post in an exclusive deal.
Tarazz, which describes itself as “Australia’s gateway to a world of retail brands”, is an up-and-coming online retailer founded by Tom Kiing.
In addition to heading up Tarazz, Kiing is a director of technology investment firm Bridge Capital.
While Tarazz is based in Victoria, its large-scale import model was developed and launched in Singapore, where Tarazz also employs staff.
Tarazz already boasts 250,000 items, mainly from US retailers such as Wal-Mart, Champs and Buy.com, with a target market of female, fashion-conscious consumers.
Now Australia Post will be the exclusive partner of Tarazz.com.au, although there are warnings that the deal represents a further blow to Australia’s already-struggling retail sector.
“The main purpose of this venture with Australia Post is to help them get operational excellence in the cross-border market,” Kiing told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“They’re very strong in the domestic market so there is a lot of interest to build operational excellence in the international market.”
Tarazz expects to increase its offerings to as many as three million items within the next year, claiming it will feature prices 5-10% lower than those advertised by websites overseas.
According to an Australia Post spokesperson, the postal service will act as a logistics partner for Tarazz.
But Australia Post isn’t the only big company keen to carve a larger slice of the online shopping delivery market.
Toll Holdings has signed a deal with Victorian newsagents, as it seeks to build a network of more than 3,000 online shopping pickup points across the country.
One of the key elements of the plan is a deal with the Victorian Newsagents Association (VANA), which will offer the service under a new brand called Nagent.
Customers will be able to pick up their parcels from their local newsagency or have them delivered to their home or to an alternative address.
“Newsagencies are… one of the most frequently visited retail outlets in Australia,” VANA chairman Gerard Munday told The Australian Financial Review.
“It makes sense that newsagents use their convenient opening hours to provide their customers with increased service and greater flexibility to collect their parcels.”
According to Toll, discussions are also underway with a chain of service stations, which will offer parcel recipients even greater flexibility for collection times.
But Toll could have some competition from smaller players such as Sydney-based start-up Parcel Champs, which already enables customers to collect parcels from convenience stores.
Parcel Champs founder Julian Leach told StartupSmart earlier this year he is confident his business can compete with the likes of Australia Post and Toll.
“Big players are looking at the same problem but this doesn’t mean that an innovative start-up can’t succeed,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that this problem needs to be solved, but it’s not yet clear which solution will be most prevalent in one, three or five years.”
“I’m focused on creating a solution with broad consumer and industry benefits, which sets itself apart from costly alternatives.”