Innovations That Matter

Speed-sale site gives shoppers four seconds to grab a bargain


It’s commonplace for “deal a day” sites to set a time limit on the opportunities they present, but it’s safe to say that few go as far as Swedish site Speedsale does. In fact, visitors to Speedsale get just one fleeting chance to grab each bargain on the site; once those four seconds have elapsed, the opportunity is gone forever. The brainchild of Swedish retailer Papercut, Speedsale presents visitors with a series of sale products in rapid succession, complete with frantic background music to heighten the tension. Each time a new product appears, its regular and sale prices are shown, and visitors have four seconds to decide if they want to grab it at the current discount. If they do, they simply click on the sale price, and the item will appear in their cart. Otherwise, Speedsale will continue with its sequential presentation. Not only that, but visitors who try to call up the presentation of products for another try get disappointed: “You had your chance but blew it!” a message says. “Welcome back in a billion years.” Much like planned scarcity, limited-time availability is a tactic that’s sure to increase any product’s appeal, though we don’t remember seeing it used with such emphasis ever before. Retailers around the globe: a fun — and potentially lucrative — model to try out on your own bargain-minded customers? (Related: High-end clothing brand only sells on tour datesLuxury etailer focuses on planned scarcity.) Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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