While retailers are busy perfecting their app design and introducing new discounts to get more business out of the average buyer, shopping app Compelation is trying to sell with a new approach: letting the users decide the price.
The iOS app, which is currently in private beta, allows shoppers to bid on products displayed with their approximate retail price, using an in-app slider and setting a date on the expiration of their bid offer. If the shopper’s bid offer gets accepted, the app charges the credit card associated with the user account.
As a product gets more bids, the app plots the offers into a demand curve and lets the seller decide the lowest bid it’s willing to accept. For instance, a user could bid $100 for a $150 pair of shoes. The app would aggregate all bids ranging from the lowest amount that shoppers are willing to pay to the highest bid. Upon receiving the data, the merchant can choose to accept all bids over a designated threshold.
“I realized group selling was completely broken,” Compelation co-founder Dave Gudai told TechCrunch in an interview. “This one-sizes-fits-all discount wasn’t working.”
The idea behind building the app platform was to monetize on shoppers who are willing to buy products with just a small discount and not to let merchants overstep price cuts, which come with discount schemes, TechCrunch reported.
Using the demand curve plotted by Compelation, merchants can gain flexibility in applying the data metrics for their own sales target and regulate warehouse supply-demand balance.
Though wait time and probability of getting a product might take away the traditional shopping experience, the app’s user interface tries to capture the shopping experience offered by other eCommerce platforms like eBay and Pinterest.
To build a more customized experience, the app also allows users to follow other shoppers and buy products they have shared.