How RedBox lost a sale (and what I would have done about it)
NOTE: Follow up post here…
I like RedBox. While they don’t play a very deep bench in film selection, I can get a new release pretty cheaply and conveniently long before I get it on NetFlix.
Their online service is pretty robust and getting better… creating an online account lets you maintain a “favorites list” of locations, so when you search for a movie it shows you availabilities at the kiosks you frequent most.
Then if it’s there, you can put the DVD on hold… pick it up by the next afternoon, and if you don’t, you’ll be charged for the rental and it’s put back into inventory. (Only fair since your reservation made the disc unavailable to others who might have rented it.)
So the other day, I reserved The Adventures of Tin Tin (a surprisingly good film btw). When I got down there, I was thinking I might rent another movie too…
The easy-to-use interface presents three big red buttons: Browse, Pickup, and Return. I pushed “Pickup”, and it asked for my email address (the one attached to my RedBox online account). I comply and it displayed back “You have Tin Tin on hold. Is this correct?” (I’m paraphrasing here, by the way… don’t hold me to it…)
Of course, I say yes.
And the screen goes blank while it processes my order… then it tells me to “Take your disc”, and spits out my Tin Tin DVD.
I take the DVD.
Then the screen thanks me, and ends my transaction.
Um, what? I kind of wanted to rent another movie… at least, I wanted to consider it.
The lost opportunity
Now, it’s not impossible for me to start all over again and create another transaction.
But I didn’t. Because I’m human, and there’s psychology at work here. Completing the transaction changed my frame of mind. I felt I was done… that they’d “dismissed” me.
And if someone had been in line behind me, I would have felt like a dick for starting another transaction… especially on a cold rainy night at an outdoor kiosk. Don’t make me look like a dick, RedBox.
RedBox completely missed an upsell opportunity here. They’ve already spent their money acquiring me… they’ve converted me… they’ve already gotten my credit card information… and I’ve made a purchase choice… and I’m standing at the register… there’s NO FURTHER ACQUISITION COST to simply prompt me to increase my order size.
1 – Make It A Double Feature
Simply asking “would you like to add another title to your order” might prompt me to consider spending more, even if it hadn’t been on my mind. “Sure,” I might think, “Let’s get something for Mom and I for later.”
They could remind me of new releases (based on what’s in stock at that kiosk, and preferably based on my purchase history and genre preferences): “Did you know we have Bridesmaids?”
Maybe a companion-product recommendation… “Since you’re renting Tin Tin, you might also like The Iron Giant.”
They might even offer a discount. “Add another movie for $1.29… add a third for 99 cents.”
Plus, they’d reduce their costs… there’s a per-transaction fee they must pay to the credit card companies. Why not encourage users to bundle?
2 – So Good You’ll Watch It Twice
What about offering an extra night’s insurance? Remember, if I keep my movie over 24 hours, I get charged another $1.50. How about “get Tin Tin for a second night for just 99 cents.” I’m guessing that most folks who buy the extra night would otherwise have gotten it back on time. That’s free money, baby.
3 – Don’t Forget The Popcorn
Most of my local RedBox locations are at convenience or grocery stores. How hard would it be to spit out a receipt with a co-branded MANUFACTURER’S COUPON for popcorn, or soda, or Bon Bons? Don’t even need the retail partner’s cooperation with that… they’ll appreciate the sale (because, after all, you may also buy butter, or a frozen pizza, or napkins while you’re there).
And again, to me, it’s like a discount on my movie.
My gift to RedBox
So many options. So much lost opportunity. When you’ve got a qualified lead standing at your cash register, saying “I want to give you money and you already know what I like,” it’s retail 101 to offer the upsale.
There you go, RedBox (and by extension CoinStar). Those ideas are yours. Free.
Want more? Call me. Mention this blog post for a discount.