AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Wed Sept 23 2009 00:32:06

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The CEOs of the Gilt Groupe and Woot answered questions at a panel at the Shop.org Summit this afternoon in a session called "Reinventing Online Retail: Radical Business Models That Are Paying Off Today."

Matt Rutledge of Woot said of his site, which sells one item per day at a hefty discount, it's "the least you can sell and still be a store." But his modesty belies the success of his site, and fans of Woot were present at today's session. Susan Lyne of Gilt Groupe revealed new invitation-only shopping sites that her company is getting ready to roll out.

Joshua Goldman, General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, did an excellent job as moderator, displaying an in-depth understanding of the two business models and drawing the CEOs into talking about their sites. The only thing missing was a guide on how attendees could utilize the models on their own websites, which surely they wanted to do after hearing the session.

Neither company wanted to be seen as a liquidator, and showed how manufacturers benefit from their services. The session was Standing Room Only, not surprisingly, given that retailers of all sizes are affected by these models and are likely searching for ways they can use these techniques themselves.

Gilt revealed it will roll out new sites called Fuse for shoppers who are fans of Gilt but are between 20 - 30 years old and find a $250 dress is expensive even if it is a discount, and whose lifestyle is more casual, Susan Lyne said.

Gilt will also roll out new sites for men that includes gear and gadgets, as well as a home goods site. They are also ready to roll out an iPhone app in a month.

The key to event shopping is selling known brands that are coveted - consumers crave and lust after them - and of course, there must be excess inventory, according to Susan.

As for Woot, it uses a unique blend of content and community. "The marketing we do is to entertain, not to sell the product," Matt said.

I've been in correspondence with Matt Rutledge, who promises to tell me more about deals.woot.com that will roll out shortly, and it was a pleasure to meet him in person after the session. As the grand-daddy site of daily deals, I think there's something coming that will interest powersellers, so stay tuned.

Here are some short notes I took during the session.

Is it all about money?
Gilt Groupe: It starts with idea of a great deal - that's why people sign up. The reason they stay is because it's exciting. We bring the excitement back to shopping - there's a gaming element - competitive shopping. And it's easy. (isn't that what eBay used to be?)

Woot: Some of those same elements are on Woot - there's an addictive quality. It's efficient to run event sales online, and there's scale to doing it online. It's like Black Friday, everyday. When there's a confined amount of supply, it's interesting to watch the dynamic.

What about manufacturer's limits on minimum pricing (MAP pricing)?
Woot: manufacturers look at product life cycle, and we help them know when to let go. We operate as consultants to manufacturers.

Is this a problem you are solving, or are you a threat?
Gilt: Our 400 brand partners feel very good about the business. There are many benefits to them. Retailers are more threatened by it. I believe our sales encourage people to go to that brand's website. Vente-privee has found there are marketing benefits, including getting to know a brand on Gilt. Many of our buyers do buy full price, a lot.

Joshua Goldman had an interesting take on Woot - he said it would be like if the Daily Show took over the home shopping network for a day.

That kind of innovative approach to retailing is rare, and while there are copycat sites, no one seems to have created and maintained the kind of loyal following as Woot.

More from Shop.org to follow.




Comments (8) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: matza

Wed Sep 23 07:25:25 2009

That sounds like an awesome thing. Glad to hear someone with a good idea for a change.

This is so guaranteed to work in a big way.

Thumbs up to them.

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Sep 23 07:32:48 2009

I check Woot! every day and I've bought 4 things since I started 2 months ago. I do not check eBay every day.

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: matza

Wed Sep 23 11:34:20 2009

I just checked it out for the first time, it looks awesome.
Sort of like how auctions used to roll off ebay every second and you could find great deals ending all day and all night.

They actually seem to have "real" deals too. Not like some of the bogus junk ebay daily deals I've seen.

Now that best match killed it for ebay it looks like this site is the next best thing. This will take away alot from ebay especially if they use merchant checkout and bypass paypal altogether.

woot!! woot!!

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: joe

Wed Sep 23 14:07:27 2009


WOOT is just as bad as ebay...

Todays deal ''The Slap Chop'' 3.99 + 5.00 shipping.

Excess shipping charge + Cheap Chinese Products = another scammer website.

However people enjoy buying this junk, the site is great in that it's a level playing field and you get exactly what you see...

Upgrade the products and get rid of the YAHOO PRODUCT LINKS and it's a WOOT.

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: ken

Wed Sep 23 15:43:47 2009

WOOT charges $5 shipping for any and all products they sell.

I've been WOOT'ing for a little over 2 years now and they will continue to get my business!

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: joe

Wed Sep 23 22:04:40 2009

I like Woots customer service policy FAQ...

''Will I receive customer support like I'm used to?

No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call ''buyer's remorse,'' sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.''

Fabulous...

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sun Sep 27 12:27:53 2009

It's retail! I see the same crap in CVS on the end displays! (I live in the DC area maybe it's easier for me to get this kind of stuff?) tried looking in on #shop twitter talk, not ONE was a "used or re-cycled, thrift, or second hand representative" no green people there! Sorry folks we are still patronizing the  industries that lobby the GOV and elect the folks who are stuffing their own pockets!
Think about NOT buying retail for a change. Recycle. The Chinese pursue goods at a rate of 30%, save at a rate of 70%. Americans are opposite! we pursue new goods at a rate of 70% Shameful!!

Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!   Shop.org Showcases Radical Ecommerce Business Models - Woot!

by: Gary Overton

Mon Sep 28 11:00:26 2009

Been buying on Woot for several years. Greatest shopping site online. The poster that criticized the $5 shipping needs to take a closer look. It is $5 period. I bought 3 items one night. They weighed over 10lbs each. Total shipping $5. They sell huge TV's You can buy 3 and the shipping is only $5



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.