PriceLocal thinks has a way to help local retailers take back some of the sales they have lost to e-commerce over the last decade.
The Ann Arbor-based web service givers local stores the opportunity to match the online price for a product when shoppers are searching Amazon. The idea is to harness the momentum of the shop-local movement and pair it with savings consumers traditionally have only gotten online.
"Local stores have an advantage over Amazon no matter how many drones they say they are going to fly," says Matt Chosid, founder & CEO PriceLocal
. "The local store can put a book in your hand today."
Chosid knows a thing or two about that. He worked on the litigation team at Borders from the 1990s until it closed. He saw the good years and bad ones. He saw how consumers increasingly used Borders as a showroom for their online purchases.
"They would take a book and say I can get this cheaper at Amazon," Chosid says. "They would walk out of the store and buy the book on Amazon. I am not saying that is the only reason for Borders' demise, but we didn’t have a response for that."
PriceLocal is that response. Chosid and the tech team at Alfa Jango
created a web-browser plug-in that consumers can download at getpricelocal.com
. Once its installed, shoppers can click on the PriceLocal button and send a price request to local stores to see if they will match it. If a local store has the item and can match the online price, shoppers get a coupon for the item at the Amazon price.
PriceLocal is launching with more than a dozen Ann Arbor retail partners. It has received requests from retailers ranging from Royal Oak to California.
Source: Matt Chosid, founder & CEO PriceLocal
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.