Getting a great deal on the latest tech gadgets and luxury goods has never been this much fun.
Asyou might imagine, Tech Trends buys the occasional tech product online, in fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought any hardware or software in an actual shop. The reasons for this are threefold; lower prices, product options and ease of access. So when we heard about a new online shopping platform that promised to revolutionise the sector by combining all these features with a fun gamification model and eye-popping discounts, well, we just had to check it out.
Slidr, a London-based, Lebanese start-up is changing the face of retail and online shopping for the gaming generation. What is unique about Slidr is its crowd-discounting pricing model. Powered by a customised proprietary algorithm, it analyses consumer behaviour patterns and decides price reductions accordingly. The company is part of a London accelerator programme coordinated by the UK Lebanon Tech Hub — a joint initiative by Banque du Liban (Lebanon’s Central Bank) and the UK government.
Slidr’s co-founder, Marwan Salem, said that launching the platform in Britain was inevitable, as the UK is the largest e-commerce marketplace in Europe (and third largest in the world) where e-sales had risen 16% in 2016 to £133 billion. The firm’s research shows 41% of the UK population shop online every week, and that 16.8% of all retail trade in the UK is now carried out online.
“The political and economic uncertainty in the UK over the last 18 months has affected high street shopping, as people are much more cautious now. So, consumers will do a lot more research online to hunt down bargains, and are increasingly inclined to buy online too. However, people in Britain really love our high-tech gadgets and luxury items, so all these factors have combined in our favour to make Slidr a great success.”
In order to purchase some of the high street’s most sought-after tech, Slidr users pay a small amount (20p to £2) in the form of credits to reveal the price through an on-screen slider button. Upon the reveal, they have 15 seconds to decide to purchase the product or to let the price disappear. Each slide reduces the price, and the discounted price varies — it can range from a 5% to a 70% reduction, with the average discount on the full retail price during 2017 being 24%.
If shoppers like the price, they can go directly to checkout and get it delivered free-of-charge within two to three business days, or they can wait and slide again as the price may go even lower. When an item is sold, a new one is offered on the site, with its price back up to the higher level, and sliding starts again. This gamification approach differs from other shopping sites that may introduce an element of gambling as the Slidr price is always lower than the full retail price, users cannot lose — no matter when they choose to slide and buy.
With their focus on high end, luxury, smart tech products Slidr forecasts that UK gadget-loving consumers will be snapping up personal assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and their derivatives in ever greater numbers after these formed a big part of Slidr’s 2017 end-of-year sales boom.
“Smart Home gadgets were the stars of last year, and we believe this trend will carry on into 2018 — especially with the introduction of the mini and dot versions of personal assistants, both of which make them more affordable and available to a larger number of people. e feel 2018 will see significant growth in consumer tech sales and online retail, all of it UK-led,” explained Marwan
Slidr by numbers in 2017 — Highlights from Slidr’s retail operations last year
- Average discount saved in 2017: 24%
- Most sold product in 2017: Google Home
- Product with most slides in 2017: PlayStation Pro 1TB console
- Highest discount in nominal terms in 2017: Galaxy S8 64GB Midnight Black (sold for £439.58; market price £689; discount £249.42)
- Highest discount in percentage terms in 2017: Philips Hue coloured starter kit (sold for £58.70; retail price £149; discount of 61%
- Most purchases by one customer in 2017: 18 products
- Most spent by one customer in 2017: £2,076
Tech Trends signed up, took advantage of the new member, 50% off credits offer and with jumped straight into sliding on a 64GB Samsung Galaxy S9. The first slide offered a price saving of about £30 below the starting price of £739. Our second slide offered a £34 discount so we were heading in the right direction!
I thought we would wait a few more minutes before sliding again to allow time for the price to drop and five mins later we slid for the third time and got a £38 discount. The platform gave me a few seconds to deliberate and take up that offer before resetting and waiting for me to slide again. Clearly, I was too keen and a longer wait would result in a better price as it would allow other sliders to do their thing and chip away at the starting price.
I had one slide left so bit my fingernails for ten mins and received a £42 discount, dropping the price below £700. I think I was the only person sliding on that phone and the prices would drop faster and lower if members were battling for a certain device, however, the mechanism is intriguing and definitely brings a little extra buzz to the shopping experience. The promise of increased discounts and the anticipation of what the next slide will reveal definitely brightens up the whole online shopping experience and is perfect for mobile users killing time commuting or covertly entertaining themselves under the table in a meeting (with a phone!)
All sorts of smart tech are available through Slidr, fitness, sound & vision, gadgets, toys and of course smartphones and tablets but it is in the smart home products that co-founder Marwan forecasts will see the most growth in 2018:
“People will be looking at smart homes much more seriously, and this will be the year they truly come of age. We also believe sales of complementary products to the personal assistants will be a hit in 2018 such as Philips Hue, Nest, Hive products and more.”
With more than 25,000 registered users, and having recently signed up with Trust Pilot to see how customers rate the Slidr service, the platform has an overall score of 9.6 out of 10 and an array of 5-star ratings on social media. These are exciting times for online shoppers. To try out the platform with your introductory discount credit offer go to the Slidr Website
Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications