Gamified discounts site turns bargain hunting into a frantic competition

    By Tom | Small Business


    Consumers know that when it comes to eBay auctions, their bids can be fairly sensible until it comes to a battle in the last five minutes to win the item, when all rational thinking goes out of the window. Capturing the atmosphere of that moment, Drop ‘Til You Shop is a store where the price of each item falls every second until buyers freeze it at the price they want to pay — but in order to win they have to do it before the limited stock runs out.

    Offering items ranging from shoes and perfume to home accessories and iPads, shoppers logging onto the site are greeted with three different products currently on sale. A price ticker next to each item will quickly drop, indicating a greater saving as time goes on. When the item has dropped to an amount they’re willing to pay — which can be anywhere between its retail price and next to zero — they can freeze the price tag and enter checkout. The catch? Each item is only available as limited stock and other shoppers are playing at the same time, hoping to get their hands on the products. Bargain hunters need to hedge their bets — if they leave it too late, they’ll miss out on the deal. Users don’t know how limited each item is, and auctions only take place between 9am and 12pm, and 9pm and 12am, to further increase competition. The video below explains more about the concept:

    Developed by Australia-based Peeractive, the platform is essentially a web version of reverse auction TV channels that use dropping prices as an incentive for phone shoppers. However, the atmosphere of Drop ‘Til You Shop is more hectic and competitive, and — according to CEO Nick Rosenthal — shoppers are spending more than 30 minutes on the site per session, and even returning to check for more deals later on the same day. The platform is also a good way for e-retailers and high street stores to get rid of unsold stock quickly, with the company taking an eight to 20 percent cut of the selling price.

    Drop ‘Til You Shop taps into the human desire to beat others to the chase while also offering large discounts on branded products. Are there other ways to gamify the shopping process?


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