Getting your goods out there is important for any business, restaurant or otherwise. Enter new site Peeka.com, which works like an inverted auction. A product’s price starts at its highest point, which is always below retail. Visitors pay for “peeks” that reveal that item’s hidden price. After peeking, they have 10 seconds to buy, and if they don’t, the price drops for the next customer. We talked with Peeka’s Director of Business Adam Trent about the site and what restaurants can get out of it.
Your site talks about the advantages to consumers of using Peeka.com over other auction sites; for example, there is no minimum price. Why should businesses choose to list their goods on Peeka.com as opposed to other sites?
Businesses choose to use our site because our model gives them full price for their products, while the consumers still receive discounts. For instance, we just sold an Amazon Kindle for 10% off retail. Once the customer purchased the item, I simply went to Amazon.com and ordered the Kindle directly from them, and had it shipped to the customer. Amazon received their full price, while the customer saved almost $20.
What attributes make a business well-suited to your site?
We look for businesses that have a general appeal. Items that most people have interest in like restaurants, retailers, grocery stores, consumer electronics, etc. Niche products don’t do as well because, for our model to generate discounts, we need a large amount of people “peeking” on the products.
How can interested restaurants or other businesses get involved with the site and how do you think they can benefit from that involvement?
Restaurants can contact us directly if they want us to market them. Currently we are focused on national restaurant chains only, but within six months we will roll out a “local” feature which will highlight smaller/local restaurants and other businesses. The benefits they receive are the same as other discount sites: increased traffic. Our uniqueness stems from the fact that the business doesn’t have to give up +/-50% of the ticket value. They receive their full asking price, although the customers still save.
Right now there are several restaurant gift cards up for auction. How else could you see restaurants being involved with the site? How is the auction revenue split?
We can create customized ads for restaurants that we feature in our “showcase.” So far we have witnessed an increase in sales of over 200% on items that are in the “showcase.” On the restaurant’s end, they can help promote the site at the store level, because the more users we get, the more items will be discounted. Auction revenues aren’t technically split. The restaurants get full value for their items. We make our money on the “bids.”
One of your stated goals is to incorporate local restaurants and businesses into the site, but right now the site seems to have a national focus. How will a business with a smaller niche fit in?
We are already working on incorporating the smaller businesses into our lineup. We are about two weeks away from the functionality of the service. The component we need in order for the feature to go live is simply traffic. As it stands, we launched three weeks ago and have over 500 users spread across the country. We need to reach 200-300 users in a particular region for us to justify offering local deals to that region. We anticipate this will be reached in the next couple of months.