CAMPAIGN-I: Behind the hype - Expanding choice in online shopping The French firm Kelkoo is preparing for a UK drive.

Market positioning: The French company aims to become Europe’s biggest online retail directory.

Market positioning: The French company aims to become

Europe’s biggest online retail directory.

Its merger with Spain’s has augmented its presence in

Europe and in Latin America but the merger with Shopgenie will help its

UK expansion and achieve its goal of capturing 30 per cent of the market

by next year. Expansion is planned into Italy, Germany and


Site characteristics: Shoppers can compare prices on goods ranging from

hardware, travel, household and electrical goods to music. It searches a

portfolio of more than 25,000 e-tailers in a global merchant


It features bargains of the week and a buyers’ guide written by


Target demographic: Very broad. Anyone wanting the best deal, aged from

18 to 70.

Principals: Philip Wilkinson, the co-founder of Shopgenie UK and now’s UK general manager since the merger, quit his job at Perot

Systems after coming up with ’a service that would search sites for the

best bargains’.

Backers: In the UK pounds 8 million has already been raised and Kelkoo

is closing another investment deal worth around pounds 20 million.

Investors include the Aim-listed Netvest.

Marketing strategy: Last week Kelkoo appointed DDB to a pounds 10

million European drive. Around pounds 2.3 million will be spent in the

UK on online and offline activity. It aims to have negotiations

completed by the 1 June launch date.

Competitors: Its main UK competitors are Shopsmart and Asda’s



With a pan-European presence and a weighty ad campaign, the prospects

look good for Kelkoo. Its entry into the UK market ups the ante. Now it

is time to see how the competition will respond. - Excellent prospects.

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