Entrepreneur Imran Khoja likes to think of his new e-commerce business, ShoeKicker.com, as the Kayak of running shoes.
When Khoja, a running enthusiast, tried to locate a pair of running shoes from a previous season in stores in his native Boston, he came up empty-handed. His next option, an online search, proved overwhelming due to the wide range of prices and color options available.
So Khoja, along with two partners, decided they could solve the problem via a free online service similar to today’s travel sites that quickly and easily compare hotel-room prices and availability.
To start the process, consumers fill out a request form on ShoeKicker.com indicating the style name, size and gender for current as well as out-of-season product. The site will then scour the Internet for the best price available from a wide range of brick-and-mortar and online retailers.
Launched on Sept. 3, ShoeKicker.com is designed to turn a profit by having partner retailers pay an affiliate fee for each sale directed to them by the site, Khoja said.
In addition, Khoja envisions eventually securing online ads for additional revenue. To date, the company has spread the word about the launch through grass-roots marketing, including bloggers and the press.