Sneakpeeq’s Social Shopping Expertise Attracts Asian Partnership

Sneakpeeq is sneaking into Asia a little ahead of schedule, thanks to a partnership with Interpark, a leading online retailer in Korea.

San Francisco-based Sneakpeeq, which launched about six months ago, has engineered a site where consumers determine the price of items.

It is that technology that attracted Interpark, which is often described as the eBay or Amazon of Korea.

Henry Kim, Sneakpeeq’s co-founder and president, said he thought the company was still nine to 12 months away from expanding, but that the Interpark offer was compelling.

Interpark is willing to help fund the expansion and contribute its sales and marketing resources. Interpark also plans to take some of the site’s apparel and accessories to Korea, which will increase Sneakpeeq’s customer base.

The partnership is expected to go live in February.

Sneakpeeq’s business model is a little bit of a gamble for its users.

Each time someone clicks on the “peeq” button to view the price for a product, the price drops. Once someone buys the item, it resets to the original price and will start dropping it again as people resume viewing it.

The consumer can wait as long as they wish, but they may not get the lowest price if it resets. Prices typically range between 20 and 40 percent off, Kim said.

For instance, a turquoise and yellow rug, which costs $48 at retail, has been clicked on 197 times; when I clicked to see the price, it was only $28 — a 40 percent savings.

“We have developed the gamification of commerce that would work well in Asia,” Kim said.

To date, the company, which has 15 employees and has raised $2.7 million in seed financing, has worked with 500 brands, registered two million “peeqs” and has attracted 175,000 users.

In addition to its expansion plans, Sneakpeeq says it is rolling out a redesigned site in the U.S. today, with a new logo and new features, such as the opportunity for consumers to earn badges for receiving the lowest price.

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