3 Things RedBox Could Do To Get More Money From Me

How RedBox lost a sale (and what I would have done about  it)

NOTE: Follow up post here…

redbox movie rentalsThe story

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.

The #fail

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.

8 thoughts on “3 Things RedBox Could Do To Get More Money From Me

  1. UPDATE: After tweeting a link to this posting (and including @RedBox username so they’d be sure to see it) I received this tweet:

    “@chipstreet Wow! Thnx for the awesome feedback! We’ll share this with our marketing team.”

    Plus, it included an offer of a free rental code in thanks.

    Now, I’m sure it’s a canned response of some kind… but not all @RedBox mentions are going to be marketing related, so at least I know a person saw the post and then used the proper canned response.

    Unless… hm. I did use the hashtag #marketing in the tweet too. So mebbe they’ve just got a real smart algo working on their auto replies.

    Oh well. At least I got a free movie out of it. Thanks, @RedBox! Social Media FTW!

    1. Hey there!

      Thanks for the shout out in the update! We certainly monitor our mentions, but there is definitely no robot replies. We are as human as it gets! We like to call ourselves natural wizards with our responses! 🙂

      Enjoy the promo codes!

  2. Free is still my favorite price.

    And, I agree with you on the reserve / pickup issue. When I don’t reserve and just go to the RedBox, it often offers me a Double Feature discount. Just not on the reserved disc.

    1. Is this THE Tommy Weiss? Cool!

      I have never received a double feature discount at RedBox. It must be randomized (lucky me!).

      Guess they’ve got the right idea, just the wrong implementation.

      Anyone else ever gotten that offer?

      Hope you’re well, Mister Weiss!

  3. Re: #3 — it was pointed out to me by my lovely wife that the RedBox kiosk doesn’t print hardcopy receipts. Now that she mentions it, I think that’s true… but they could send me a coupon by email to print and bring along on my next visit… or some variation thereof, like a gift card… As Coinstar already has the retail partner model down to a science. There’s got to be some kind of paperless synergy available there.

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