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NAB, the sales and advertising arm of Caxton CTP Publishers and Printers, today announced the launch of Dealfinder. Effectively an online version of the print inserts NAB specialises in, the site allows consumers to browse for shopping deals online by area, retailer, category or brand name.
Caxton claims that the product allows shoppers to find the best deals in their own areas, at any time. It also claims that it takes the best parts of print deal inserts and translates them to work online by making them searchable, geographically relevant, user relevant.
The South African publishing giant is also at pains to point out that Dealfinder is an online deals insert rather than a price comparison site.
“Dealfinder is not a price comparison site but rather a functional online showcase of in-store deals,” says Marc du Plessis, GM at Dealfinder. “For consumers, it means that they can find deals that are relevant and available close by. The consumer can either browse through thousands of deals or search by retailer, category, product or brand.
The company also seems to reckon that there’s appeal in the fact that people can use the site to search for multiple deals, rather than one at a time.
“Markets are thin and not many people are shopping for an item at any given time, that’s why media that has mass reach, like our local papers coupled with Dealfinder.co.za, are the only platforms that will deliver prospective buyers week in, week out.”
That’s all well and good, but whether people will actually want to use the site is another matter all together. It’s functional, but by no stretch of the imagination is it a looker.
He adds that Dealfinder could also be useful for brands looking to connect with their customers. “While consumers can sign up for category, brand or product alerts, retailers and brands will be able to communicate directly with consumers who have shown an interest or are in the market for particular products.”
Caxton as a whole has been looking to increase its presence in the online space in the last little while.
Last year, it acquired a majority stake in South African business and financial news site Moneyweb, previously having held a 34% stake in the company.
It also recently completed a deal which gives it full ownership of RamsayMedia — the publisher which owns a number of magazine titles including Getaway, Car and Popular Mechanics as well as the online properties associated with them. Previously, Caxton had held a 30% stake in the company, with the remaining 70% held by the Ramsay family — who have run the publishing house since 1933.
Memeburn’s sister publication Ventureburn meanwhile recently revealed that it was in talks with digital sales house Habari, possibly around acquisition.
A range of marketing tools have apparently been made available to retailers subscribing to Dealfinder including access to a database of consumers who have ‘wishlisted’ a certain item; SMS, or email marketing campaigns to targeted consumer groups; sponsored competitions; gamification in the form of interactive competitions and campaigns; a mobile site and apps to come, allowing on-the-go browsing.