By Aimee Chanthadavong

Price comparison website Shopbot has secured an online partnership with US retailers Macy’s and Bloomingdales.

This partnership will give consumers the opportunity to compare prices with over 100,000 products sold at Macy’s and Bloomingdales to products offered by other local and international retailers.

Neil Thomas, Shopbot Asia-Pacific sales director, told RetailBiz the partnership represents a global shift to recognise how international retailers are reaching Australian shoppers.

“It makes finding the best price even easier for consumers and we are proud to bring this service to Australian shoppers,” he said.

Both Macy’s and Bloomingdales began shipping products directly to Australia in early 2013 via their US-based websites. Thomas believes the partnership will further encourage consumers to buy products locally and internationally, regardless of ongoing GST debates.

“We don't see GST increase or decrease as a barrier to our customers or merchants. Customers will continue to seek out trusted retailers, and look for pricing options online regardless. Sites such as Shopbot make this easier now for shoppers to compare from a wide range of trusted sources, whether they are local or international,” he said.

According to Thomas, integrating marketing strategy, competitive pricing and customer service are the key points retailers need to think about when it comes to providing an online offering.

“The online retail market is fiercely competitive and it is the savvy retailers who are finding unique ways to reach consumers that are standing out from the crowd. For many of our merchants, incorporating price comparison sites such as Shopbot into their marketing strategy is opening up channels to consumers not previously capitalised on,” he said.

“Customers will always hunt for the best price, and we know from experience that they will take the time to research what is out there. Having a competitive pricing model and being visible to customers among your competitors is key.

“While pricing is obviously important, customer service is the foundation of any retail business. Online operations take away the face-to-face sales interaction, placing the emphasis on after sales service. Get this right and you could have customers for life.”