What if the way we shop today is not the best way to shop?

What if all the time, you spend searching/shopping for products & services, like the most the popular PS3 game or the hottest pair of Ugg boots to more mundane products like light bulbs and batteries, can be done more efficiently? What if you can find what you want, where you want it, at the best price, without barely lifting a finger?

For all of history, the typical model for shopping involves the consumer seeking out the desired product from a retailer. Who carries the product? Who has it in stock? Who has the best price? Let’s think about that for a second - I know what I want, I am prepared to spend the cash, and I want to go to a nearby store and buy it now! But where do I go? I can’t just walk into the first store I think of or see? They may not have it in stock, it may  not be the best price, so first I must spend time searching for the right place to buy it at the best price. While searching online seems like a fairly simple approach, it still involves numerous searches, wading through pages of garbage, and having to visit many sites to check for availability and price. All of this without really knowing who is reputable and who is NOT!! I would prefer to visit a nearby local retailer, who can answer my questions and provide great service at a good price. So now, I may look at flyers, talk to family and friends, do research online, or visit multiple stores to see who has it in stock at what price.   Wow - that is both exhausting and frustrating. I know what I want, I want it it now, and I would prefer to buy it locally and simply go pick it up. If shopping was just that simple….

Maybe there is a better way?

What if I could simply broadcast what I want (eg. Wii Console with Mario Kart) and let the reputable retailers in my area respond to my request. Sound too simple? Not really, just simply logical! Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to provide a little assistance on an exciting new project with a couple of really smart guys, Steven Milstein, creator of Twetailer, along with super techie developer Dom Derrien. Together, they have built a new kind of retailing - as Steven likes to refer to as Reverse Retailing, or:

WHERE DEMAND COMES TO MEET SUPPLY

Watch this video:

I like to refer to this as hub commerce. It is not one to one, the typical shopper–>retailer (brick & mortar/website) scenario, but many consumers to many retailers, brokered by a hub or twetailer. You broadcast your request by Twitter, e-mail, text, mobile, instant messaging, etc. and let all the reputable retailers in your area make proposals to you. Let them do the work, instead of you running around looking for what you want at the best price.

Wouldn’t this be a better experience?

This is a local, social, and truly equal opportunity tool, where a local reputable independent retailer can be on equal footing to a major chain-wide retailer. No expensive e-commerce, or, even simple web site is required. All they have to do is join the hub and make proposals responding to broadcast requests.

What do you think? Would you like to shop this way?

Next post - Teeing It Up With Twetailer