Aussie Mega Mall (AMM) has become the largest online shoopping centre in Australia – 3500 shops and growing, compared to 522 at Australia’s physically largest shopping centre at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney.
Chief executive and founder Darryl Reeves said AMM, which recently opened its Australian training centre on the Gold Coast, had been created to give local stores a way to fight back against the huge number of foreign stores coming into Australia and “buying their way to the top of search engines".
“In a growing number of retail categories, it is now difficult to get an Australian retailer on the first page or two of search engines. We aim to stop this because it's very bad for Australian business, the economy and, importantly, it's very bad for Australian people,” Reeves said.
Australian online shopping is showing no signs of slowing. The NAB online retail sales index for April 2016 estimatd that Australians spent $19.6 billion on online retail in the past 12 months. Small retailers represented just over a third of online sales but grew fastest, 18.1% year-on-year.
Reeves added that Australia had more than seven million online Australian shoppers, and AMM enabled them to browse hundreds of aisles and thousands of stores without the need for time-consuming searches, frustrating dead-ends or even fumbling with keypads or keyboards.
“The site is 100% touch friendly – perfect for mobile devices. Every store looks like, and works like, an app and can be found on page one of the aisle of a shopper's choosing. It's fast, simple, convenient, and beautiful,” he said.
Any Australian online store, from small to large, can list their online store free, knowing they will be on "page 1" of the site. There are also 15 premium paid spots in each category.
These include nearly every family-friendly category, including fashion, toys, electronics, homewares, travel and health products. Listings can have digital brochures, their daily deals, coupon codes and access to AMM membership for extra promotion and discounted products.
“Many businesses can be Skyped directly from the site. We’re the only business Skype directory anywhere as far as I know. The mall was built by Australians for Australians and excludes Australian drop shopping stores which managed stock and processing overseas,” he said.
“Drop shopping could well be the death knell for many Australian online stores if we do not unite and collectively showcase. Drop shopping is doing to Australian online stores what the large grocery chains have done to the small cornerstore – put them out of business! We want to give the small online business owner all the support we can.”
Upcoming features include social media links, listings for offline businesses, professionals and B2B (business to business), auction site, classifieds, loyalty points, and an AMM app.
Plans include opening a New Zealand store this year, as well as shopping centres in the US, UK, Japan, Fiji, and South Africa in 2017. This has the potential to be a gigantic business on a global scale.