Friday, November 25, 2011

Speed-Shopping Website

Most websites, and businesses for that matter, focus on having the customer spend enough time in the store so that they will purchase more.  The thought process is the longer someone is in an establishment, the more likely they will purchase, and if they do not purchase today, they will leave with a positive impression, so they will purchase sometime in the future.

It is a great model for most businesses, but because that is the focus of almost every business out there, how can you stand apart?  What will make your business be seen as better than the competition?

I would like to introduce the Speed-Shopping Website.

This business concept is completely counter-culture to what we have been trained to think.  Instead of encouraging customers to stay in the store longer, it will be strictly focused on getting people in and out quickly.

So, why will they want to shop there?  We will be similar to Walmart—our pricing will be low.  You will get the best products (or at least the best that we can get), and we will only mark the prices up by about 15%.  That 15% will pretty much cover costs with a little bit of profit.

What’s the catch?  You have 5 minutes.  If you want more time, you will need to pay for that.  Each minute will cost $10.  And when the time limit is up, the order is processed.  There will be no cancellations, refunds, exchanges, nothing.  What is in your cart when the time is up is what you are getting.  End of story.

It’s kind of like a flea market on hyper-drive.

The way it will work is the following:
The customer comes to the home page, where the whole program is laid out.  They will sign up for an account, or if they already have an account, they will sign in.  If they are signing up, they will be sent an email with a temporary password so they can finish the registration process.  Once they finish the registration process, they will be allowed to shop.

Before they can shop, they will need to enter at least one credit/debit card in order to shop.  They will enter the maximum amount they wish to spend (e.g. they enter $500 as the max, so they cannot put anything into their carts which exceeds that amount, because the funds are not set aside for that), which then will be put on hold (the bank can put a hold on the money so that it cannot be used by another person/processor until the payment clears and their balance is updated). 

Once they enter the shopping arena, I want there to be thousands of products which they can browse and put in their cart.  They will have 5 minutes to do their shopping.  The prices should be low enough (and for those products which you have to sell at list price – see Apple products L.  For those products that you have to sell at list price, you can offer cash back on those items and credit that amount to their max purchase limit) and the selection big enough that they will put a lot of things in their carts.

If they want more time added, there will be a button next to the timer (which will be in the top-right corner) where they can add time.  The money will be automatically deducted from their spending limit, and will be charged when the time expires—whether or not they purchase any products.

As soon as the time expires, they will be taken to a receipt page, which will itemize their purchases, as well as when they can expect their merchandise to arrive.  They will be able to see the receipt in the account for the next year.  Once they are taken to the receipt page, their cards will be charged, and the unused portion of the hold will be released.

After shopping at the website, they will be unable to shop there with the same card for a 7 day period.  They can shop using a different card, but they cannot do so with a same card for any 7 day period.

There will need to be specials all the time to encourage people to use several different cards so they can get all the specials.  Specials can include: For every $100 spent, get a $20 credit; 2 for 1; Buy 1 get one free/half off; Free products, etc.

This will be a fun website to do because it will be very busy and people will be able to get great deals on products.

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