Recently, I moved to Boston and began the search for the perfect gym.Â I got recommendations from friends, did some research online, and even visited a few in the area to discuss membership options.Â But, my instincts told me that if I could just wait one more week, some amazing deal would come along.
Last week that deal appeared in my inbox from Groupon; $24 for 24 day passes, a $480 value, saving me 95%! I couldn’t have been happier.
Sites such as Woot.com, Amazon’s Gold Box, Groupon.com, BeyondTheRack.com,Â Ruelala.com and BillionDollarBabes.com have been appearing in recent years in the online retail space and I have to say, my friends and I are in love! We often share sites, tell each other about deals, and spread the good word-of-mouth (and email) to just about anyone who will listen.
Sites such as these offer promotional sales for clothing brands, restaurants, gyms, hotels,Â spas, wine, vacations, and just about anything else you can imagine. The key is that they are timed so that the deal expires after a set duration.Â And, after some thought and discussion, I’ve decided that the expiration factor (The X Factor) is key.Â It’s a new twist on the “sense of urgency” sales and marketing tactic that’s been around for a very long time.
Example: I have this “friend” who considers herself a fairly frugal shopper, and never would purchase a pair of $100 boots in a store, or even online from a site like Zappos, but when she found a pair of $475 boots on sale for $108 on beyondtherack.com, she couldn’t help herself! She easily forked over her credit card information in fear of “losing the deal.”
“Persuasive fear” has emerged in this space and visitors are rewarded for their quick-to-convert action.Â Never before have I heard of so many Early Stage visitors going straight to Late Stage in a matter of moments! I’m excited see how these sites continue to change the online retail space and morph the buying stages into a single-stage process. What I wouldn’t give to have a look at their analytics!
The question is, do these types of “buy now or lose out” sites pose a legitimate threat to mainstream retail big-brand eCommerce sites? Or, will they always be niche business that only appeals to spontaneous deal hunters? Sound off, please