The shopping season has started early this year. E-tailers are trying their best to get a bigger share of the pie. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, this year, are starting much earlier than last year. Walmart, will kick off its Cyber week sale on Saturday, November 24 and the sale will go on through 2nd December. Amazon’s Sales starts today. And the customers are responding.
Paypal claims that the official US shopping season started on September, 30. Fab.com has reported an increase of 400% in its sales as compared to last year. There are other signs as well. UPS is forecasting to deliver 527 million packages between thanksgiving and Christmas, up from 480 million last year.
There is a negative side to it as well. We only like things as long as we know that it is for a limited time. If we know that a Sale would always be there, would we be interested? I don’t think so. Things that are there for a limited time have a perceived value that is much greater than the perceived value of the same thing for a greater period of time. Less perceived value would mean less interest in buying which could lead to a decrease in the size of pie.
Let’s hope that the Big E-tailers have kept that in mind. Happy shopping!
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Walmart has entered the subscription game with Goodies Co. With a subscription fee of $7 users get a package of sweets and snacks every month. As usual they are playing on price. Ravi Raj, VP of Products for @WalmartLabs says that the actual worth of the pack is close to $15. I believe it much more than that. Let me explain it to you in detail.
Subscription services are services where users pay a monthly fee, usually $15-$30 to companies. The companies (with products ranging from food, fashion accessories, kid’s toys, apparels and crafts) send a box of goodies to these users in return. The contents of the box are mostly unknown to the users.
Why do we do it? The reason is very simple. Most of us find a lot of pleasure in surprises. It has been scientifically established that the nucleas accumbens (the area of the brain identified as a pleasure center) responds very strongly to the unexpectedness of a sequence of stimuli. Hence we find more pleasure in unexpected pleasures than expected ones.
This increases the perceived value of the box even than what it actually is. It hardly matters if we want those products or not. We might not even consider those products when we see them on the shelves in the super market. Ultimately, we end up paying for the products which we might have not even wanted. But we find pleasure in those same products when they are sent to us every month.
A simple concept; understood well by Walmart!
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Looks like Facebook is finally going to have an answer to Wall Street’s big question about how it is going to make money. The official invitations to members of the press have been sent and the conference is on November 15 at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan. Although a bit delayed, majorly due to Hurricane Sandy, this conference will be centered around Facebook Gifts, the company’s e-commerce initiative.
The company began rolled out its Facebook Gifts app on Sept. 27, but only to members in the United States. About 2 weeks back, the company added the ability to donate to a charity.
Facebook’s popularity has been going down and I have also written about it multiple times. But this is a very smart initiative by the company. In case you are not aware about how Facebook Gifts work, here is the link that explains it in detail
It’s too early to say but if introduced in the right way, being very simple to use by the user and intuitive for the sender and the receiver, it is very scalable. Social gifting has been a huge market and it always will be.
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