Online retailer Alice.com launches app for CPG items
Alice.com, a consumer packaged goods online retailer, has launched an iPhone application to provide a more convenient experience to consumers.
The retailer sells home goods such as toilet paper, trash bags and tooth paste directly from the manufacturer. Alice.com was made to relieve some of the stress of shopping, and the application is an extension of its brand promise and services.
“The application is part of our overall strategy to make shopping for essentials more convenient and to save consumers time,” said Mark McGuire, cofounder/president of Alice.com, Middleton, WI. “It’s convenient to allow technology to take away the chore and hassle of household shopping.
“Really the primary goal is to further integrate these services to make a person’s life easier,” he said. “There’s something about shopping for the category of goods such as toothpaste, trash bags and shampoo that is typically viewed as a chore, a necessary ongoing duty, but the application makes it easier, more convenient.
“Mobile is a huge jump forward in convenience and is part of our brand promise.”
Alice.com provides ecommerce and interactive marketing services exclusively to the consumer packaged goods industry.
The company’s ecommerce platform allows consumer packaged goods manufacturers to create branded storefronts that make it easy for the mainstream consumer to buy all of their household goods online.
Alice.com launched in June 2009 around the concept of shipping home goods for free directly to a consumer’s doorstep, all in one box, to save consumers time and hassle.
Consumers order from Alice.com just like they would a retailer, but behind the scenes the Web site and application work like a marketplace to let participating manufacturers sell directly to users.
However, not every product on the Web site or in the application is sold direct from the manufacturer. Alice.com sourced a number of products itself to get the site up and running.
This direct platform eliminates the retail middleman.
Alice.com said its platform lets manufacturers have a direct relationship with consumers, to reward and personalize the process for them.
The application also features a price comparison tool that can be used while shopping in a physical retail location.
Alice.com’s application features all of the same services the Web site does, such as access to product lists, coupons, reminders and a shopping cart for orders.
Manufacturers can use Alice.com’s coupon platform to generate savings targeted to specific demographics and based buying behaviors.
The application was developed internally, is free to download and does not feature advertisements. It is monetized the same way Alice.com is, by setting up loyalty programs and coupon campaigns for manufacturers.
Consumers that use the online site are also the same audience being targeted to use the application. Mr. McGuire said the Alice.com audience is generally educated, Generation Y female consumers with a high income.
The application is being promoted via email marketing, the Alice.com blog, Twitter, Facebook and a call-out on the Web site with a PDF document detailing features.
“We want shopping to be painless,” Mr. McGuire said. “Putting power of Alice in a pocket is a huge advantage to shoppers.
“We view our application as the first in the consumer packed goods category to lets consumers buy toilet paper on their phone,” he said. “Being a first mover had its appeal as well.”