Eric Schmidt-Backed Slice Helps Users Track Their Online Purchases
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apps that can track the nutritional content of the groceries you buy or even help with household budgeting.
Slice has been quick to roll out new apps and features to get out in front of any potential competitors. TripIt, owned by Seattle-based concur, offers a similar service for tracking travel-related spending, but so far, there are only a handlful of companies doing it for general e-commerce, including OneReceipt and Lemon.com. Brady is unconcerned by new competition. “We clearly have a pretty significant first mover advantage,” he says. “We’ve raised the most capital, launched with the biggest partners and are available to the most users.”
As Slice increases its user base, it will also have a bigger pool of anonymous consumer data, which can give retailers a sense of which products are sold together, what times of year people are likely to purchase certain products, whether sales are actually working, or even what kinds of daily deals are selling across all sites. “We have the ability to pull together what we think is extraordinary valuable information,” Brady says. “There are sources for this today, but they’re doing it based on statistical analysis. We can do it based on actual data. The quality and the timeliness of the information matters.”
Brady also believes there are advantages for consumers. For example, the company could allow users to share their information with merchants so that they can target their offers directly to people who are interested. As Brady points out, daily deals sites sending mani-pedi offers to guys like him who are unlikely to buy them aren’t doing a great job targeting the right customers. It also might be worthwhile for a specialty retailer such as Nike to give consumers who have spent $500 on another brand of athletic goods a special offer to convince them to try their products. “It’s not like a daily deal to 10 million people,” Brady says. “It’s actually something uniquely designed from that merchant to that consumer in a one to one way that delivers a substantial value.”
For now though, Brady says, Slice’s main priority is to build relationships with as many e-mail services as possible, and address as many specific use cases as they can to make sure they’re serving customer needs.
“We’ll continue to explore where we go with this,” he says.