HAGGLEFREE™ for Retailers Overview:
Hagglefree.com.au is designed to assist retailers to gain a slice of the expanding online business by securing leads and owning the customer relationship without impacting their retail margins. It targets price savvy online shoppers and directs the traffic to retail stores whom:
- Cannot or will not have an online presence
- Wish to maintain a two tier pricing for web and retail
- Just looking for additional sales leads in a cost effective way
- Move products that are unique in their condition. For example, limited number on clearance, one-off deals, demo/floor stock or factory seconds with a minor ding/scratch
- Want to be in touch with the customer during the online sales process so that they can add value with their expertise through a) add on sales b) cross-selling or c) product up-selling.
HAGGLEFREE™ is a medium that captures online interest and hands the leads to retail staff to close offline hence creating a Hybrid Web and Bricks and Mortar business model.
A customer will go through the HAGGLEFREE™ site and request a quote for a product that they are interested in purchasing. The process comprises of a few simple steps for the customer to complete. The site will ask them to provide relevant information in respect to the product that they are interested in.
For example, Sally is looking to buy an oven so she will be asked:
- Exact model of the oven and quantity required
- Pickup or delivery
- Time frame of when the product is required
- If she needs installation
- Whether she needs her old oven removed
- Her postcode for shipping costs and retailer selection
- Whether it is a purchase for business or personal use (trade pricing if applicable)
In another example, Joan is looking for a microwave so she will be asked:
- Exact model of the microwave and quantity required
- Pickup or delivery
- Timeframe of when the product is required
- Her postcode
- Whether it is a purchase for business or personal use (trade pricing if applicable)
The HaggleFree server holds a number of Merchants whom are all bricks and mortar retail stores. The server will allocate the job to Merchants within the locality of the customer where possible.
Merchants are invited to quote but are not obligated to do so. Quotes are submitted via an online dashboard where the member will specify if they can meet the customer’s requirement. If they can, a total price is provided which is inclusive of the supply of the product, delivery, installation, removal of old appliance etc (as per requirements).
The retail member will need to specify whether the product they are quoting is brand new in box, brand new clearance stock (one off pricing), floor stock/demo but new, factory second with scratch/ding etc, and any restrictions/limitations such as warranty.
The best top few quotes are formulated in a response email back to the customer where the customer is made aware of the store’s contact details and offers. It is then up to the customer to engage with their preferred retailer to finalise the sale.
It is expected that there may be a slight price difference between the top quotes, but it is the job of the sales person on the phone/email with the customer to convert the sale. Where there is a small price variance, customers will choose the company/brand that they feel most comfortable with. For this reason, we regard all selected retailers in play.
The retailer now has an active lead with a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements. A good sales person can offer customer care plans, sell accessories which are usually lost in online sales, or use their product knowledge to up sell a better suited product (only if genuinely in the best interest of the customer).
The customer is happy as they have received a few quotes that compare apples with apples from local retail stores who can meet their requirement and will actively assist them with the purchase and the retailers are thankful for the lead and opportunity to win a new customer.
Cost to our Merchants:
There are no charges during the pilot phase.
Merchants will usually quote jobs where:
- They have stock that they need to clear
- Need to top up sales at a lower margin
- Have one off products that may suit the customer’s requirement
It is possible to sell at ticket prices but HAGGLEFREE™ customers are looking for a deal so in most cases ticket prices will not put the merchant in top few quotes and the lead is not passed on so we ask our Merchants to use the site to fill in their spare capacity or correct financial imbalances.
The site will have a number of governing policies to ensure fair play for both customers and retailers.
- All quotes to the customers are strictly confidential
- All quotes are valid for 24 hours only so retailers are not required to hold stock for too long
- Customers are not allowed to electronically share or submit to comparison’s site/voucher sites as all offers are exclusive to the customer only
- Retailers cannot be misleading in their offering. (e.g. quote for stock that they cannot obtain or quote low only to convert the customer to another product, misleading whether they can meet the customer’s requirements)
We currently cater to Home appliances, Bathroom products, Electronics (laptops, Mobile Phones and more), Cameras, Office Equipment and Gaming. We expect to rapidly expand into other industries where products are unified by their product code/SKU. If you have an interest in a different industry than we currently are covering, then we are interested in talking to you. Email Info@hagglefree.com.au with some details about you and the industry that you have in mind and we will get back to you.
Understanding the Online marketplace:
More and more customers are using the web as a safe and efficient place to shop. They are able to access a larger range of products and bargain hunt with only a few clicks. Retail sales are being adversely effected as a result. Online shoppers enjoy the benefits of product and customer reviews, convenience, safe ways to transact, improved delivery times, and the ability to find the best price in a short space of time.
The retailer’s expertise is being matched by the vast amount of information available on the web. There are specific blogs, social media, product review sites, and detailed product information all available to the online audience to help with the purchase decision. Customers receive advice of what to buy, where to buy it and how much they should expect to pay. The price comparison sites are becoming a major problem for general retail as they are directing traffic to pure online players and creating the race to the bottom as far as prices are concerned.
The good news is that many consumers still prefer to visit retail stores to inspect a particular product and in many cases will transact on the spot. While the store may close that sale, they are now more likely to miss out on a cross sale due to the internet playing a role in the research phase. Consider the customer who enters a store to buy a washing machine and finds a 65” TV also has grabbed their attention. Given they weren’t in the market to buy the TV, they will inspect it at the retail shop. They then will go home to do their homework online by reading reviews and using a price comparison site to find the lowest price. They may in fact make the purchase online, with the initiating retailer losing out on the sale.
In the example above, the retail store just expanded the market share for the industry but they were not rewarded for that added sale.
Also many customers visit retail stores to work out what they need and then shop online for the best price.
Disparity in the marketplace:
The overall market for home appliances is growing due to:
- Population growth
- Average medium price of appliances dropping
- Consumers holding onto the appliances for fraction of the time (due to replacement prices, high labour cost of repair, and technology advances)
Online is posing a real threat to retail businesses for several reasons. Online stores have significantly less overheads compared with retail stores. A pure online store can operate with far less margin and because they are dealing with a bigger pool of customers they can achieve volume and offer lower prices.
In the more recent times retailers have been forced to create a strong web presence in line with their bricks and mortar operations, however to protect their margins at retail they tend not to be anywhere near as competitive as the pure online sites, missing out on a major amount of online business.
Dick Smith tried to compete online by offering a lower online price compared with their retail stores, but did so at the cost of damaging their reputation. Consumers who trusted the Dick Smith brand walked into their stores and made a purchase only to later find that the same product could be purchased for 10-15% less online, leaving the customer with a sense of being ripped off. Other shoppers did their research online using the Dick Smith’s website and for one reason or another preferred to visit the retail store to make the purchase only to be told that the online price would not be honoured and to order online if they were not happy with the actual store’s prices. From the customer’s perspective, this anomaly in retail and online pricing is difficult to comprehend and the customer feels like they aren’t getting the best deal when buying in store.
It is expected that more and more retailers will follow suit with a two tier pricing structure to get their fair share of the growing online market while maintaining retail sales at higher margins to keep their doors open. This practice of disparity between retail and web components of the business will gradually destroy the brand proposition of some of the major players and further fuel the online growth through pure online players who appear to be more honest with their customers.
- We take all the hassle out of haggling for the customers
- We enable retail stores to have a level playing field with online stores without affecting the margins on their walk in sales margins. We take online customers and direct them to their stores
- We reduce the negative impact that suppliers face on certain products that get heavily discounted online. Discounting will still occur but with stealth and without affecting the market’s perception of the value of specific products.
HAGGLEFREE™ is a solution borne to solve a problem and it is open to all retailers of all sizes. We invite the support and involvement of both suppliers and retailers to ensure that we deploy and maintain a fair solution that benefits all parties.
How HAGGLEFREE™ will address the disparity:
While there is a significant portion of the population who will never transact online for many years to come, online sales are growing and impacting retail operations.
Considering that retailers play a critical role in the buying process, they need to find a way to maintain their sales in the retail environment at a higher margin and compete head on with online players without damaging the promise to their customers.
HHAGGLEFREE™’s goal is to create a win-win-win for retailer’s, supplier’s and consumers alike.