Open4Sale to Deliver a Solution for the Struggling Retail Sector: Help Is Only a Video Phone Call Away

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An innovative video portal is set to change the way we shop online, allowing customers to enjoy real-time personalized service with local and International retailers as if they were in store, while still conveniently shopping from home. Watch a one-minute video on the Open4Sale shopping experience here -

Open4Sale is the brainchild of Australian founder Simon La Barrie, a born entrepreneur who first made his mark in the property sector, before developing the ecommerce concept in 2010 that has now come to fruition as Open4Sale.

Open4Sale can help retailers tackle the challenge of creating a distinct online presence as well as logistics, through its official partner UPS.

Open4Sale has attracted interest from some of World’s largest high-fashion empires, ahead of the official launch to retailers and consumers mid-next year.

Renowned Australian eveningwear designer Ruth Tarvydas was one of the first fashion retailers to sign up to the portal during New York Fashion Week last year.

“This innovative software combines the traditional in store experience and personal service with the convenience of online shopping. If Net-a-porter and Skype had a baby – this would be it,” Ms Tarvydas said.

By allowing retailers to give the most personalized online service to customers through real-time video interaction, Open4Sale takes the evolution of ecommerce to the next level. In 1997, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos thought he would never be able to offer the kind of experience one gets from a physical store staffed by human helpers. “We are never going to have sofas; we're never going to have lattes," Mr Bezos told Business Week Magazine.

“We hope to bring the sofa and lattes to online shopping,” said Mr La Barrie.

“Open4Sale can help the struggling retail sector become more competitive by using the best that online technology can offer. Fashion designers and store owners for both men’s and women’s fashion will have a practical solution to tackle the downward trend in store sales. Meanwhile, consumers will have a convenient, more engaging and personalized online shopping experience,” Mr La Barrie said.

“Technological advancements have driven the now common perception that people should be able to get exactly what they want, when they want it.

“Although online shopping addresses the needs of the increasingly time-poor customers, we saw a gap in the market to provide an improved customer experience.

“The Open4Sale portal offers a user-friendly link between the time-poor consumer and the retailer – and, quite frankly, there’s nothing else on the market that comes close to this product,” Mr La Barrie said.

Strong interest from International investors
Open4Sale has already generated significant investor interest from international boutique investment firms and retail companies. Proof of concept demonstrations and user tests have been carried out across the USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Dubai.

With global ecommerce sales reaching $1.089 trillion in 2012, up 21.9 per cent from $893.34 billion in 2011, brands are looking for ways to distinguish their products online and, as with bricks and mortar businesses, customer service is key.

Having successfully attracted a total of $5m since 2008, the start-up business is now conducting a further round to scale up operations, increase the initial user base, fund marketing events surrounding the launch of the product, commercialize the technology and bring the product to market across several regions through its first crowd funding campaign.

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