There's a fresh new face entering the land of e-commerce, one that's touting the badge of being the world's first tournament shopping site. Still in the infancy of its beta launch, ShopCube.com has the motto, "Go big or go shopping!" as it tries not only to tap into the crowded market of online retail, but also the lucrative market of casual gaming.
"It's all about value," said ShopCube CEO Steve Rothman. "I am both of the main components on the site. I am a gamer and a shopper. The big idea is to combine the two markets into one platform."
What is tournament shopping? Think, March Madness brackets meet e-commerce. Tournament shopping is "a very simple marriage of two of our favorite pastimes," the ShopCube website explains, that combines the process of shopping with the fun of playing games. The site offers merchandise comparable to other online retailers, but every dollar spent also comes with a chance to win a prize through the process of tournaments, creating what the company said is three-tiered, retail-sweepstakes-gaming destination.
How it works
For every dollar that a shopper spends on products, they get a cube. That cube offers one chance for the shopper to win a prize of their choice, functioning similar to a raffle ticket.
The site lists a number of prizes at one time for shoppers to choose from, with the image of each prize overlaid with a light grid. Each square in that grid is a space for the shopper to place their cube, with a limited number of cubes available for each prize, Rothman said. Once all of the cubes are filled, that prize is sold out and the tournament brackets begin.
"It takes every opportunity that the shopper has to win and places everyone in a bracket," said Rothman. "Each cube goes against an opponent's cube in an animated battle sequence."
The cube that wins goes on to the next round. Eliminations whittle down the contenders to a final two and eventually, a winner, with the whole process for a shopping tournament taking about 25 minutes, Rothman said.
Consumer and retailer benefits
Simplicity and speed are some of the major draws to online retail sites, so it's difficult to predict if consumers will voluntarily spend more time on their shopping.
"If I am someone who really just wants to get in and get out, then that's probably our toughest customer to reach," said Rothman, acknowledging that his site will attract a different demographic than Amazon.
"We are in a parallel universe with Amazon," he said. "For loyal customers of Amazon, we can offer them a different experience. We aren't trying to offer them the Amazon experience, but we can offer them fun, excitement and extra value."
ShopCube also has the potential to open the field to smaller retailers looking to showcase and sell their products, Rothman said.
"You don't have to be a multibillion dollar company," he said. "We can cut a deal with a company, allow them to plug into our platform and then they can start reaching people that they would probably otherwise not have reached."
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