Product comparison and discovery platform PriceCheck chose to diversify its offering to e-commerce customers so that they would have a safe, vast platform – not only to find what they were looking for online, but also to discover more.
This is according to PriceCheck CEO and founder Kevin Tucker, who started the business in 2006 and sold it to Naspers around 2010. Five years later, he bought it back with SilverTree, and has big plans for his e-commerce brainchild.
Tucker told Fin24 that he took the opportunity to buy the company back from Naspers – which owns Media24 and Fin24 – after Naspers sought to increase its investment in classified e-commerce businesses such as Career24.
"The Naspers strategy changed to pure classifieds so they were selling off assets in various continents. We heard about it to see if we could acquire it with SilverTree. It took eight months to negotiate, but we got it done. But we had to do a huge restructure, which was necessary to make the business more efficient," said Tucker.
Tucker said the company was bloated and he had to make tough decisions to cut costs. Staff numbers were reduced to 45, the same number the company currently has. Tucker says PriceCheck has managed spending and invested more towards research and development than marketing.
However, the company has decided to position itself as a price comparison and discovery platform, as research informed the company that consumers gravitated more towards e-commerce platforms that allowed them to search extensively rather than fine and purchase one item at a time.
"What we see in the market is people are moving towards discovery type platforms. They are not just going on for the specific things they were originally looking for.
"They want recommendations, suggestions. They want to explore more than just find," said Tucker.
He said offerings from PriceCheck that provided a competitive advantage included the ability to compile wish lists, compare two of the same or similar products and themed product pages for ease of detailed searching.
"We allow customers to compare products side by side, and not just compare prices. We have a wish list that allows people to save items for later. They can track that over time and compare prices, quality and specs side by side to make informed decisions," he said.
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