Aggregated intention?

Apologies to those who have seen this already; I hadn’t caught up with my reading, and only came across this yesterday. The Economist carried a story where a group of shoppers acted as a smart mob and aggregated their intentions in order to convert purchasing power into demonstrable landed value. And the shop they targeted welcomed them with open arms, to the extent that they shut the doors to other shoppers and gave them ad-hoc goodie bags.

You can read the story here. Or Google it.

4 thoughts on “Aggregated intention?”

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  2. I don’t think they “enforce” anything. You are referring to the same story and its offshoots.

    Customers are recognising the collective purchasing power they have, and choosing to exercise that power for the first time. Part of what makes it possible is the sharp reduction in communications costs, coupled with near-ubiquitous availability.

    Freedom to connect rather than enforced solidarity.

  3. Similar services have been available on the internet for at least 7 years. We were using LetsBuyIt.com at university for collective purchases. I hadn’t looked at them for years as the price difference diminished – I guess 350 collective buyers on LetsBuyIt couldn’t compete with the buying power of Amazon/Dabs etc.

    Additionally the emergence of comparison sites like Kelkoo and Froogle allowed users to search a multitude of sites and find the best deal of the moment, which was often a small independent website offering a specialised range of goods cheaper than the larger, broader stores.

    Looking through some old bookmarks at the collective purchasing sites it’s noticeable that CoShopper.com has folded, LetsBuyIt.com barely avoided bankruptcy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/832597.stm) and and along with DealPartners.com have switched to fixed price sales.

  4. Steve, I’m not sure I agree with you. Not sure being the operative phrase.

    I too was aware of collective-cooperative sites and of price comparison sites. Many failed.

    I think we are seeing something different here, but your comment made me think. So I will continue to mull over it.

    In the meantime, why did I think things were different?

    One, there was a smart-mobs feel to this recent set of comings-together, rather than the LetsBuyIt approach; something felt different.

    Two, the mob congregated to attack one store, not the shopping universe. This was not a comparison play; it was more like “we are here, we represent spending power, we plan to do some serious spending here, what are you going to do about it?”

    These two elements, the almost-spontaneity and the aggregation of buyers pointed at a single store, these elements spoke to me.

    More later.

Let me know what you think