NEWTON, Mass., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Netotiate (pronounced 'ne-toh-shee-ate', meaning 'negotiate over the net'), a unique direct consumer-to-merchant negotiation platform, officially launched today in order to transform the online shopping experience. Empowered consumers can create their own deals and save on the products they wish to purchase by making anonymous and committing offers to the merchants of their choice via the secure Netotiate platform. All merchants on the Netotiate platform are established firms that can also be found in many of the leading comparison shopping engine sites.
Netotiate.com allows consumers to conduct price comparison and on-line negotiation (netotiation) in several product categories, including consumer electronics, appliances, watches, musical instruments, and select apparel products. More categories will be added as consumers and merchants are drawn to the benefits of price negotiation. In the coming weeks, netotiate functionality will also be available directly within merchants' sites.
Unlike auction or "daily deal" type sites, Netotiate does not involve bidding against others, and consumers are not at the mercy of other consumers who must also purchase the deal in order to receive the desired product. Users simply search for the desired product on Netotiate.com and then select a merchant to netotiate with. They can submit a reduced offer price for the product, while guided by the Netotiate system for its probability of success. Consumers are only allowed to submit one binding offer per product for each merchant. The offer is then transferred anonymously to the merchant selected by the consumer, who can accept, decline, or counter the offer with up to three different counters. In addition to reduced pricing, the merchant also has the flexibility to offer additional incentives such as a coupon on future purchases, free or upgraded shipping, additional accessories, or a further discount for the purchase of multiple items.
Netotiate was founded by Amir Farhi (Chief Executive Officer) and Keren Zimmerman (Chief Revenue Officer), two Israeli entrepreneurs who came together when they saw a market need to change the consumer e-commerce landscape. They understood that price-conscious consumers are becoming more and more tech savvy and are treating shopping like a game they want to win, and that mid-sized retailers were losing business because they simply could not compete with the largest online retailers.
"With Netotiate, we are transforming e-commerce from business-to-consumer (B2C) to consumer-to-business (C2B), a fundamental shift that reflects the consumer's control of the process," said Mr. Farhi. "With the ability to netotiate pricing, we give consumers the power to enjoy real savings beyond the advertised price. In addition to savings, our consumers enjoy the negotiation process and the satisfaction that comes from getting your own deal, and yet without the discomfort associated with haggling, and all with just a minimal time commitment compared to other deal purchasing means." In fact, in an external usability test of the service conducted prior to the launch, 73% of consumers surveyed responded "definitely" when asked if they "would be inclined to use this website or suggest it to someone".
Netotiate's goal is to create a fair playing field for the consumers and merchants who work together for mutual benefit. "Netotiate is helping both the individual consumer and the merchant to get a good deal", said Mr. Farhi, "We consider ourselves the perfect tool for "the 99%" of people who need to stretch their budgets and get the most out of every dollar. Unlike daily deal sites, our goal is to create an environment that provides a sustainable value to both sides of the equation."
Merchants, especially mid-sized, are poised to gain substantial benefits from usage of Netotiate's platform. They can now attract paying customers that would likely make purchases at only the bigger or most familiar retailers. Acquisition costs can be greatly lowered, as the merchant can reduce advertising and other initiatives designed to attract business, and instead rely on Netotiate to build repeat brand loyalty. By allowing merchants to counteroffer with future discounts or other incentives, Netotiate gives merchants another marketing channel and a way to encourage brand loyalty.
"Netotiating merchants are able to generate variable margins through an effective and legit price discrimination, which can directly boost their revenues and profits" continued Mr. Farhi. "They are only charged a fee on completed deals via Netotiate, giving them a cost-effective customer acquisition vehicle. Eventually, every product category will be on Netotiate, giving merchants a whole new way to convert sales and engage with consumers."
Patent-pending Netotiate is a unique consumer-to-merchant online negotiation platform that allows consumers to "netotiate" with merchants in order to secure better deals on products. Launched as a beta platform in early 2012, the solution provides multiple benefits to both consumers and merchants. Backed by venture capital, the company is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, with R&D offices in Tel-Aviv, Israel. For more information, visit www.netotiate.com.