They have a very successful business already, the product is marketed like a nightclub, to the same kind of people. It’s marketed as a restorative beverage, to model types and those that love them.
The only way to buy it is via text message. The first time you enter your CC and address the next time you just text them and it’s delivered to your address. It’s also in a few places like the Soho House.
They have been absolute masters of free media. They get bloggers and influencer types to talk about it. They have a secretive minimalist website that makes you wonder what the buzz is all about and this memorable way of getting it that feels like a drug deal. People go for it.
This mini store thing has absolutely nothing to do with a new model for retail, or as a sign of a trend or anything else. It’s just clever and catchy enough for people to say huh and to get in the Times. All for the very minimal cost of a pop up store and some free product. And here we are proving their viral success.
What is the advantage of this system? Its sounds a lot more hassle than going to a cashier.
> by sending the company a text message.
Oh allright, thats convenient, they will just add it to my phone bill.
> In the store, customers are expected to text Dirty Lemon to say they have grabbed something. A representative will then text back with a link to enter their credit card information, adding, “Let us know if you need anything else.”
Oh, they dont?
The one advantage of this system that I can see is that the shop will receive your phone number.
They also redirect to web for CC entry the first time, I think they're using stripe to store it or equivalent. It's essentially sms-based interface.
Stuff was sold this way for centuries. Take a fruit or a newspaper, leave coins in a jar, no cashier needed.
That said, I think a phone number changing owner and someone else purchasing in the exact same store within the card expiration date isn't very likely. Can happen, sure, but that's about it.
Uncompetitive products can be interesting and fun while its trendy. After, the market gets saturated if its a good idea.
If someone thinks you can create a business empire with this model, they will fail to their higher quality and lower cost competitors. However, if you were trying to pay bills for a few years, these niche ideas are fine.
SMS txt bots are actually really useful. I use digit.co as a little saving acct bot and i really love it.
However the SMS-based payment flow is awful and a security nightmare. Just give me an app where I can select what I bought and pay for it via Apple Pay.
The scale is the least of your worries when the UI is an absolute disaster and takes ages to react to every interaction.
It's not just the financial losses (which could be small), but I suppose the last thing you want is to become the "brand of the poor".
There's no cash inside. All you could possibly steal is a bunch of woo-woo juice and the hipster ambiance. If I were a poor in the area, I'd also presume that predatory cops would be hanging around outside, waiting to collar-grab the likelier suspects on suspicion of shoplifting and demanding to be shown the payment text. That would horrify the marketing folks, of course--if they knew about it--but cops are gonna cop.
[Throttled:] I have actually seen someone walk into a Walgreens, fill up a backpack, and walk right back out without paying. I looked up at a cashier, and saw that she had been watching the whole thing, too. I looked further up, and saw that it was likely all captured on the security cameras.
Probably the only person who actually cared was an accounts manager 950 miles north of the store, in Deerfield, who wouldn't even notice until the next week.
So far, I haven't had any dramatic Spider-Man moments, when I would discover that it was actually the shoplifter who killed my uncle, right after I decided to let him go. But I still wonder if there was even an option that qualified as doing the right thing. If someone is so poor that they steal bread in order to eat, is it right to stop them from doing it? Perhaps they are eating 3-5 slices of ham per day from their employer's deli without paying, for 8 years running. Is it right to charge them with felony theft?
Would they get in trouble for calling the place a Drug Store even though they do not sell prescription medicine?
If it were me, I'd only restock the paid-for merchandise until the store is empty. If you shoplift, you steal the kanban card too, but when you pay, you're also sending the card back to the distribution warehouse.