I am currently in a situation where I am actively looking for a new challenge professionally. The reason is my current employer is moving business to another country and by doing so downsize the office I’m in. With all this going on the question arose in my mind on what it is that I want to do and were my strengths lie. For a long time I’ve had a bunch of ideas that I would like to wrap a company around and try my own wings but I have not yet been able to get a solid enough business plan to do so. While in these thoughts I asked myself, what can really a single developer or IT person do? Where are the limits for a small size software company?
The common way to shop as a consumer today is to walk down to the local store, look and feel the products but not buying them there. The actual purchase takes place online at the cheapest vendor we can find and we use services to find where that is. As this might be a good way to shop it is a problem for the store that need to pay wagers for the staff you ask and to pay for the stock of products that are getting looked at but not bought.
They do pay for all this but get nothing out of the deal when it comes to income. So, how to coop with all these free-loading shoppers? How to stop their ineffective way of creating cost but no income?
A store in Australia came up with a solution. They take a fee for all that enters the store, $5. You pay to enter and the fee get payed back upon purchase in the store. It sounds quite easy but there is a major flaw with this solution.
Entry fee fend of the shoppers who are going through to browse and end up buying things they did not look for in the first place. It introduce a hurdle for your everyday shopper to get over and by that make the purchase more complicated then it was before. And what usually happen when you change something for a more complicated way? Consumers turn at the doorstep and direct their attention elsewhere.
A more delicate way of handling this would be to use the power of clubs and memberships. Why not present deals between the local stores and the price checking services online in a way so that they can share the profit between them? And byy sharing profit, empower both parties?
A scenario that would be simple to get up and running would be that the price running service introduce a membership and by checking in while your in the local store you get a token on you account which give you points and a discount on the actual store where you end up buying the product. If you log a product in the store it will be available in the online service that looks for best price and at the same time – the store that made you find the product gets a cut of the deal. The discount would be the incitement for the consumer to use the card for the online purchase and by doing so, the seller and the local store have a connection and they can set up an agreement on partly shared profits etc.
So, why would anyone want to share profit?
Well, both the local store and the online seller has provided an active role in the purchase of the product. The local store need to pay for staff and products but may keep a smaller stock since product get bought online instead. Their gain is the reduced stock. The online reseller on their end would get a clear view of their customers and they would give out a percentage of the profit to the store that got the consumer to choose a specific product. Their gain is to together with the local stores direct purchases and provide not planned selling for the ones who end up ordering products from them. All profit and the consumer get a product for a great price.
Everyone is happy. So there you have it. A free five minute idea for you to monetize on.