Group-buying deal sites may come by the dozen in the Asian region, but instead of offering the usual spa/manicure/restaurant deals, Malaysia-based startup Slosht is aiming to focus on one aspect: deep discounts for alcoholic beverages.
The site, which was launched in early August, works like any other group-buying deal site: you sign up, bid on a deal, and if enough people buy into it, boom – you’ll be getting your drink on like a rap star with a maxed out credit limit. Right now, there’s only one deal on offer – a bottle of Glen Grant 16 year old Single Malt Whiskey at half off for the beta launch party on August 18. Another twist are that the deals offered are one-night deals, where buyers have to redeem their deals on a particular date, so you’ll be in the company of other Slosht users on the night.
Top spenders of certain outlets or beverages would also get some extra privileges to the deal such as free parking, limited edition bottles, and other premiums thrown in. Slosht is run by Lau Chak Onn, who is also the founder of online greeting card service Foldees. We e-mailed Chak to get his thoughts on where we could see Slosht headed to in the near future.
How many users have signed up for Slosht?
We’re just at a few hundred users at the moment, which was a bit higher than our targeted group of friends and family. (Heheh.). The response has been pretty crazy so far since we’ve sold more than 50 bottles of single malt whisky, amounting to some RM15,000 in savings. Of course, the proof is in the punch, which is what happens after we expand beyond our loving and supportive friends and family.
Is Slosht going to expand outside Malaysia? If so, are you going to ramp up the sales staff to canvas separate markets?
Yes and yes! The concept is the only one of its kind in the world, in particular with the one-night concept. Malaysia’s a testing ground for us, and we definitely plan to fly it to many other countries in the near future once we’ve gotten Malaysia up and running.
So what does Slosht get out of the deal here? Does it involve taking a percentage cut, as with other group deal-buying sites?
At the moment, we’re taking a lower commission to reduce prices even more, but will eventually target around the same commission as other group-buying sites. Everything is negotiable at this point because we also want the outlet to put in budgets to make these events good; there’s no point of just taking all the money and leaving the outlet and our users high and dry (literally). For instance, in the pipeline, we’ve got absinthe flea markets and stout pong lined up. Our sell is that people enjoy themselves and associate that with outlets and booze brands.
You also mentioned about plans to make Slosht a more social experience compared to conventional group-buying sites, where it’s just about discounts. Would that mean more parties and drinking get-togethers?
Everything will be an on-the-ground party and drinking get together. And yes, we want it to become a community. We want you guys to talk to each other, outdrink each other, or pat each other on the back when one of you just got awarded Golden Elf status for consuming 1000 pints of Irish stout. Aside from that, let’s just keep it hush for now.
When will we start seeing some new deals coming along?
We’re limiting the number of deals for now simply because we’re at an experimental stage. Before we go and sell a whole bunch of deals, we want to know what works and what doesn’t. You can ask some outlets, we’ve actually told them to hold off till after Septermber, where we expect four to five deals, all trying different things to see what appeals most to consumers.