Can crowdsourced price data change shopping habits?
Comparing prices between brick-and-mortar grocery stores isn’t an exact science for even the most fastidious shopper. Even if someone is willing to drive from store to store to find a discount, it’s hard to imagine that person always getting the lowest price on every item they buy. The creators of a new app want to make finding the lowest price far easier.
Basket is a shopping app that aims to increase price transparency by using crowdsourced data to determine where a user can get the lowest price on the items on their shopping list, according to CNNMoney. Basket began its life, quite cleverly, as an app called StockUp, which gamified taking pictures of products and rewarded users with points and cash. The game allowed the creators to build out a database of 900,000 SKUs, which acted as the foundation of Basket. The app still enlists 5,000 “power shoppers” who continue to provide the app with SKU information from stores and uses an algorithm to predict impending price changes.
Since 2008’s financial crisis, the price-conscious grocery shopper has become an economic driving force in the U.S. Dollar stores have grown far more popular, even for the more affluent. A recent study reported that 29 percent of Millennials who shopped at three major dollar store chains were from households making $100,000 or above. Discounters like Aldi have likewise had great success in the U.S.
The hidden savings that one can find by shopping around in brick-and-mortar locations can sometimes be dramatic. In retelling the story of Basket’s creation in an interview with Street Fight, co-founder Andy Ellwood said that his business partner had found as much as 30 to 40 percent differences on some grocery prices in his neighborhood when conceiving of the app.
Though transportation, gas prices and numerous other factors would have to be calculated into the cost to truly determine how much a bargain hunter was really saving, the concept does seem to streamline finding the best brick-and-mortar prices. However, users would also have to be disciplined enough to get in and out of a store with only the low-priced items they needed.
- The grocery shopping app for the 99% – CNNMoney
- Millennials with money go shopping in dollar stores – RetailWire
- Basket President: App’s Crowdsourced Price Information Empowers Shoppers – Street Fight
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Basket or similar crowdsourcing apps becoming a go-to solution for price-conscious grocery shoppers? How might apps that crowdsource pricing information force retailers to alter their pricing strategies?