retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports on a new retail trend that is empowered by the internet and smart phone technology - the ability of stores to push discounts that only last for a few hours, and that demand instant action - or reaction - by the shopper, who has presumably given the store permission to provide information about these short-lived deals.

According to the story, “Merchants are offering this shorter time frame as they try to break through the clutter of discounts. They typically don't announce the sale in advance and aim to surprise shoppers by posting the discount on the Web or by sending an e-mail to customers.”
KC's View:
This just makes so much sense, and strikes me as so easy to test.

If you are a supermarket, you can send out a text or email at 4 pm, informing people who have given you their mobile number or email address that such and such a deal will be available in the store from 5 pm until 8 pm. And then, you wait and see what happens. You try a bunch of different combinations and different timing, just to see what works. But if you are offering a real value, and not abusing the privilege, you can really connect to the shopper.

Stores not doing this are ignoring a major opportunity...and leaving the door open for the competition to do it.