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...good old-fashioned Kiwi deals go digital

NEWS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 15.12.00

Let’s Go-Shopping….good old-fashioned Kiwi deals go digital.

Forget the techno-speak and the usual dot-com hype. The secret to Internet marketing in New Zealand lies in offering good old-fashioned Kiwi deals.
That’s according to Kerry Gordon, creator of the newly-launched Go-Shopping.co.nz virtual shopping mall. This is the site which promises to save Kiwi shoppers an average $200 a month just by doing their shopping via the Internet – and without having to expose their credit card details on-line.
“The concept is based upon good old-fashioned Kiwi deals, without any hype or smoke-and-mirrors,” says Gordon.
“It also solves the big problem which has plagued Internet shopping in New Zealand – the risk of putting your credit card details on-line.”
As the founder and former managing director of the highly-successful BarterCard network, Gordon turned his talents to the idea of Internet shopping 12 months ago. He saw its potential to provide an effective distribution channel for merchants across all sectors – everything from travel and entertainment, to insurance and groceries.
Members can shop at as many shops within the virtual mall as they choose, then settle their account in one amount. The purchases then appear broken down by shop on their credit card statement.
On-line security.
“The big issue with Internet shopping was that most New Zealanders are reluctant to expose their credit card details on-line,” explains Gordon.
“We’ve developed a unique settlement system which means you never have to put your credit card details on the Internet.”
When a member decides to purchase from a Go-Shopping merchant, they use their personalised Membership Key Number, which is password and PIN protected. This is transferred to a secure, fire-walled bank server, and settlement is made off-line between the merchant and the member’s Go-Shopping account. (So not even the merchant has access to the credit card details).
For added security, members receive an automatic e-mail confirming their transaction, and goods will only be delivered to two nominated physical addresses.
“From the public’s point of view, Go-Shopping is the safest and most convenient way to purchase on the Internet,” says Gordon.
“In fact we believe it’s the only responsible way to transact on-line.”
Market opportunities.
Auckland-based Gordon has been a successful entrepreneur since leaving school. His approach to business opportunities is simple - identify a current problem or issue in the marketplace, then solve it.
At 21 he started a business delivering flowers from the Pukekohe growers to city florists, so they didn’t have to get up so early. In 1987 he started a freight company based on the promise “after three it’s delivered free.”
In 1992 he purchased the BarterCard license for the South Pacific and grew the local operation from nothing. When he sold to Australian interests in 1998 the business had a $12m monthly turnover. It was during the BarterCard days that the potential of the Internet beckoned.
“I always had in the back of my mind that the Internet was an ideal buying group method, but the technology wasn’t around then.”
Not that Gordon is a fan of ‘technology for technology’s sake’. He’d rather employ the professionals (GFG Group in this case) to develop that side of the business while he focuses on the big picture.
“I purposely didn’t get involved in the technical side. I just held tough on what I wanted delivered – an easy and secure way to shop over the Internet.”
Brand power.
The Go-Shopping site has already attracted some impressive brands. They include names like AMP, Benchmark, Rocom, and Liquor King.
John Moss, direct sales manager of AMP General, welcomed the opportunity to be part of the Go-Shopping network.
Every week the company is approached by dot-coms and similar companies wanting to associate themselves with the AMP brand – but it was Go Shopping’s simplicity and cost-effectiveness that won out.
“Most of the others want a lot of money to do essentially what Kerry has done for free. The Go-Shopping network is very low risk and it doesn’t cost $5,000 just to be there.”
Importantly, Go Shopping will be a good way for AMP to try out new marketing initiatives.
“It’s a very easy way to trial different offers and see what the take-up rate is.”
Bricks and mortar.
Kerry Gordon has a checklist for the type of merchants he wants to attract on the Go-Shopping network.
“They need to be well-branded, well-recognised and with a physical presence - preferably nationwide. All I ask is that they offer 15-20 items per week, priced specifically for Go-Shopping members.”
Recognising that not all products translate successfully to on-line browsing – women’s clothing, for instance - Go-Shopping will also offer vouchers which members can redeem in-store.
“Kiwis are great recreational shoppers, and we’re not trying to change that culture. What we are saying is ‘get your great deal over the Internet and then go in to the bricks and mortar location to redeem it’.”
For $15 a month, Go-Shopping members receive 100 hours free Internet access and the right to take advantage of the exclusive shopping deals. Kerry Gordon points out that most people are currently paying more than that just for Internet access.
It is predicted that most shoppers will save an average of $200 a month, and Go-Shopping guarantees to refund their membership if they don’t save at least $300 a year.
“My objective is very clear,” says Gordon. “It’s to give the consumer the best possible deal.”

• View the Go-Shopping site on www.go-shopping.co.nz.

For more information, contact:
Kerry Gordon
Managing Director,Go-Shopping.co.nz Ltd
Ph: 09-308 9048
Mobile: 021 650 883, e-mail: kerry@go-shopping.co.nz


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