Check it Out: Go Big or Go … Shopping?
What happens when you mix online shopping and gamers who have an affinity for sweepstakes? "Tournament shopping," the latest niche in the e-commerce industry.
ShopeCube.com is the first ever competitive, three-tiered retail shopping experience. The e-commerce industry needed a "pick-me-up," says Steve Rothman, ShopCube's founder and CEO.
"I've been a gamer my whole life, so I wanted to try and find a way to incorporate the fun of gaming into online shopping," Rothman answers regarding why he founded ShopCube. "Online shopping has become a little bland over the years, so I wanted to try and mix it up. I think ShopCube does just that."
Here's how the site works: Consumers buy "Shopcubes" for the chance to win prizes — e.g., electronics, jewelry, video games, etc. — and a dollar to go shopping for every dollar they spend. After they've bought their cubes, consumers enter for the chance to win prizes by placing their cubes (they do so by clicking on available boxes) in the prize image. After all cubes within a prize image have been filled, the game begins with a randomly selected, bracket-style shopping tournament. Some of the most popular prizes have been Coach handbags, Apple TVs, Amazon.com gift cards and tablets.
"Tablets and electronics are the hot-ticket items of the moment, but we're looking to expand the selection of prizes," notes Rothman.
It's rumored the company would like to even offer automobiles as prizes. In fact, ShopCube announced earlier this year that it would be auctioning off a 2013 Mercedes SLK in one of its upcoming tournaments.
While the idea of "tournament shopping" is already intriguing, what's really drawing attention to ShopCube is the "can't lose" vision of the website. Even if you don't win the tournament prize, for example, shoppers still have a chance to earn instant wins by finding "Treasures" behind certain cubes. In addition, shoppers get to keep each dollar to spend in the ShopCube Store, as well as get a free cube for every dollar they spend. No matter how many times you lose, you don't go home empty-handed.