Whether they’re selling designer clothing, Peruvian coffee, or pizza by the slice, local merchants in the retail and restaurant industries are often willing to unload older products at a discount to make room for newer items on their shelves. Rather than running storewide sales and discounting more products than necessary, some businesses are taking advantage of name-your-price platforms to sell their goods at whatever price customers are willing to pay.
Often described as a cross between Priceline and Etsy, or Priceline and OpenTable, these platforms usually involve customers submitting offers and merchants deciding whether or not to accept, reject, or counter. Merchants benefit by unloading less desirable items — or in the case of restaurants, scheduling reservations when business is slow — without lowering the value of their brands with blanket discounts.
Here are five name-your-price platforms that local merchants can check out.
1. Garmentory: An online marketplace for independent boutiques.
Garmentory has developed an online marketplace that connects independent boutiques and designers with shoppers. The lure for customers is Garmentory’s name-your-price model. Shoppers browse through the items listed by local merchants and make offers when they find products they like. Merchants have the option to accept, reject, or counter those offers. When an offer is accepted, the local merchant ships it directly from his or her boutique. Vendors can also sell in-season stock at full retail price with the Buy Now option. Garmentory collects a “nominal fee” on each sale.
2. PriceWaiter: Convert online shoppers with a “Make An Offer” widget.
Merchants with e-commerce websites can use PriceWaiter to drive sales. The product page conversion tool integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like Magento, Bigcommerce, and Shopify, among many others, and enables merchants and shoppers to participate in “discreet negotiations.” PriceWaiter does this by adding a “Name Your Price” or “Make An Offer” button to a merchant’s product pages. Merchants maintain control over which offers they accept, reject, or counter. Once an offer is accepted, customers are directed to the checkout to finalize their purchases. To streamline the process, PriceWaiter lets merchants automate their responses, as well. A Basic PriceWaiter plan is free. Premium plans start at $49 per month.
3. Requested: Charge more (or less) depending on restaurant capacity.
Requested encourages its users to “eat and drink like regulars” by asking for discounts, or offering to pay more, based on the time of day they’re planning to visit. Customers select businesses from Requested’s mobile app, craft custom requests — for example, asking for a discount during a slow period or offering to pay extra to secure a reservation during the busiest time of the night—and wait for a response. Requested says most businesses respond within 10 minutes. Customers must pay their checks through Requested to receive the special rate. Requested is available in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Roseville.
4. Engaged Pricing: Use agnostic technology to set retail prices.
Engaged Pricing is a white label platform that finds the “best price” between shoppers and merchants. Engaged Pricing uses an agnostic pricing conversation approach to find prices that consumers and retailers can agree on. Using the technology, merchants can track which items their customers are coveting and automatically suggest substitutions in their price ranges. The platform was designed to help small retail companies attract attention from qualified customers. Retailers can convert shoppers without having to publicize blanket discounts, and they can use Engaged Pricing’s tools to improve engagement through product recommendations and remarketing.
5. Generous: A pay-what-you-want e-commerce platform.
Selecting fair prices is always a challenge for sellers, which is why Generous is looking to automate the process. The e-commerce platform assists merchant with selling their products online and invites shoppers to pay what they feel an item is worth. Sellers set minimum prices on the products they list for sale on their websites, and buyers use a slider widget to select a price they think is fair. Assuming it’s a match, customers can checkout from within the Generous slider. Sliders can be embedded on images and videos, and shared across social media. A percentage of every transaction on Generous goes to a non-profit or charity. Because of the charity component, customers may be persuaded to pay more than they would otherwise.
Know of other name-your-price platforms aimed at local merchants? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.