Looking beyond the big market and growing demand of e-commerce, Pricebook launched its service in Indonesia, supported by Incubate Fund.
Price comparison is becoming a great opportunity for startups to tap the market. Seeing the success story of Japanese giant comparison website Kakaku, which is going public with the value of US$ 4.3 billion, Tomonori Tsuji, the CEO of Pricebook, feels the right way is to launch the service in Indonesia.
“Indonesia’s B2C e-commerce market size expected to rise from $0.56 billion in 2011 to $3.56 billion in 2015, this country alone has a huge potential for another e-commerce related business,” said Tomonori.
Founded in September 2013 by two young Japanese, Tomonori Tsuji and Ryoji Mori (CTO), Pricebook is fully supported the stage funding by Incubate Fund.
Masahiko Honma, Co-founder and General Partner of Incubate Fund, said that they strongly believe there is future of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.
“Absorbing the insights and know-hows seen in the past 10 years in Japan market how Kakaku.com and price comparison media has grown, Pricebook is trying to capture this magnificent business opportunity and to be the No.1 media in this category”, explained Honma.
As there are a number of players in price comparison websites in Indonesia, Tomonori is confident to still have the great position in the market. He continued,
“Lots of players, but none has yet become the winner. We believes there are reasons to it; unfortunately, price comparison sites are not yet ready to truly help shoppers. Besides being easy to use of course, we aim to solve the problem with the approach from price data and user communication: Always giving real-time/accurate/helpful/lowest online price using data analysis and manual quality management, while helping customer choice with originally accumulated voices from other real users.”
On Pricebook, shoppers will be able to save time and budget they have been spending upon online purchase, choosing the right product for the right price at the right shop. The price range information and coming price-drop feature will be helpful to not only online shoppers but also offline shoppers doing price research before they go buy at a store.
“Often times, even after shoppers have decided which product to buy, they have trouble finding the lowest price. There are two reasons for it. The existing search engines do not always return the best results like incorrect price or wrong product, and they cannot check so many shops themselves,” Tomonori said.
Pricebook starts their service by comparing gadgets and will assists online shoppers in mainly two aspects. The first being product comparison site, visitors will be provided with product ratings, specs, reviews and forum threads to choose what to buy. Keyword or directory search methods and recommendations are to support their research.
The second being price comparison, Pricebook lists online shops in price order, detailing each shop with ratings and other Pricebook holds lowest-price rate as a major KPI, while running checks to filter out products listed in the wrong place.
As for the products/merchants’ reputation, millions of accumulated user reviews and forum threads will be displayed on the site. Pricebook will be putting emphasis on creating a communication space for geeks, piling up real usage experiences. This reputation information will also accelerate Pricebook’s growth attracting social media, forum or classified ad shoppers who put trust with seller their top priority.
One of the merchants joining Pricebook is Lazada. “Pricebook is a brand new price comparison site with a good search algorithm and managed by good people from a reputable company. That’s why Lazada Indonesia believe that we can grow together through this affiliate partnership,” said Bachtiar Rifai, Affiliate and SEO Manager of Lazada Indonesia.
Tomonori also mentioned that Pricebook gives the opportunity for merchants who wish to put their product information and ads on the website. “Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org,” he said.