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Customer Experience

Australia's first buyer driven marketplace

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Online shoppers are set for a new experience with the launch of the online marketplace Alphatise, where buyers get behind the wheel of the consumer wagon. We chat to Ben Nowlan, one of the four minds behind the idea.

Tiffany Loh: What is Alphatise?

Ben Nowlan: Alphatise is an online marketplace that will bring a whole new approach to e-commerce and change the way we buy and sell.

Unlike other online marketplaces where people can buy and sell goods, Alphatise puts consumers in the driver’s seat by giving them an opportunity to tell sellers what product they want to buy and the price they are prepared to pay for it. 

This means suppliers can sell to customers based on actual demand and the customer gets the product they want while having a say in what they pay for it.

We’ve been in development for over two years – not just from a concept point of view but from a technology perspective too. As we gained momentum and raised money, we built the technical platform and started testing the interface with early versions of the app, which led to the user-friendly platform we launched on August 5, 2014.

computer screens

TL: What are the first big goals you set yourself? How do you plan to achieve this from launch?

BN: Our goal in the first six months is 100,000 active users and 10 major active sellers. In the second six months the goal is 300,000 active users and 100 verified sellers. We know our goals are ambitious, but they are definitely achievable. 

We have a large online campaign leveraging our 600,000 plus Facebook fans, granting one wish per day across Australia to anyone that has downloaded and created a wish for a product they want. 

We will also be launching a series of videos that will show everyone how exciting Alphatise is and how easy it is to use.

TL: How has the industry reacted to your business?

BN: We’ve been in conversation for the past three months with Australia’s biggest retailers and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

Now that retailers’ doors are open, it’s just a matter of waiting for the consumer demands to start coming through so we can fulfil them.

Don't forgo the vision on the whim or opinions of others.

Ben Nowlan, Alphatise

TL: Do you have competitors?

BN: We have no immediate competitors in terms of business model and technology. We most often get compared to group-buying sites like Groupon and online retailers like eBay and Amazon, but we provide a very different user experience. 

Unlike eBay, Alphatise lets consumers set the price of products based on their idea of what something is worth, not based on a bidding or auction process. 

We’ve also wrapped a social element around Alphatise because we know that people are influenced by their peers. This inbuilt social network allows people to see what their friends are buying and creates a network of consumers and suppliers.

TL: Do you have any advice for people considering launching a business?

BN: Don’t forgo the vision on the whim or opinions of others – you’ll hear a lot of interested parties or even investors say; “I like this but you should do this” or “I think you need to do this before I’ll get involved”.

If we reacted each time we heard a sentiment like that, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

The alphatise model 

Alphatise affords consumers the opportunity to have a say over what they want to buy and how much they'd spend on it.

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