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ShopBack launches in Australia to take on market leader

Singapore-based e-commerce business, ShopBack, has launched in Australia, giving shoppers access to discount codes and coupons for more than 500 local brands and allowing them to earn cashback on online purchases.

Ebay, Booking.com, Asos, The Iconic, Menulog and Dan Murphy’s are among the more than 500 local brands that have partnered with ShopBack, which is offering exclusive daily deals to users on its website and mobile app for the next 10 days to mark its launch.

Co-founded by Josephine Chow and Lai Shanru in 2014, ShopBack has more than five million members and over 1300 brand partners across operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

The company last year raised $32 million from global investors, including Australian venture capital firm, Blue Sky, to fund its launch Down Under, where Chow says the high level of mobile penetration is rapidly driving an uptick in mobile shopping.

“ShopBack is here to introduce the smarter way to shop at the onset of their purchase journey on mobile,” said Chow, who is leading up the company’s Australian expansion, in a statement.

“In our other markets, 70 per cent of users shop via their mobile. We believe that Australia is moving fast towards mobile shopping adoption and we want to be at the forefront of this trend.”

In 2018, 82.5 per cent of Australians own a smartphone and 80.5 per cent of them are already shopping online regularly, spending on average around $4,000 per year. And ShopBack is not the only player looking to capitalise on Australia’s growing online shopping habit.

Cashrewards has been operating a similar cashback loyalty model in the local market since 2014, and with more than 1,200 retail partners and over 365,000 members, it has a significant head-start on ShopBack.

According to Cashrewards, it facilitated 2 per cent of monthly e-commerce spend and generated $600 million of Australians’ total annualised online spend in April. And the company’s founder and CEO Andrew Clarke said he welcomed competition.

“From our point of view, a new arrival will help grow the category and educate the market, which can only be a good thing for us and for Australian consumers. We’re playing in a large space here and there’s room for plenty of growth into it which is what we’re planning to do, so to us it’s a case of ‘bring it on’,” Clarke said in a statement.

Cashrewards raised $5.25 million from Silicon Valley fund Partners For Growth in its first external funding round in April, according to a report by the AFR. The capital will be used to increase brand awareness, which up to now has largely been through word of mouth.

Marking its fourth birthday this month, Cashrewards is offering daily cashback increases and daily deals from major retailers and giving away thousands of dollars in cash prizes and ‘birthday presents’ each week on social media and by email.

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