Name your own price
Radiohead did it with their album In Rainbows; Louis CK did it with his Live at the Beacon performance video, and now Panera is experimenting with the model in its CSR initiative, Panera Cares. If you let your customers name their own price, will they pay? What principles govern this model? Three experts kick it around in this Chicago Tribune article.
A new entrant in the daily deal space
Daily Deal sites like Groupon have focused on building reach. SaveLocal, a new service from outbound email service provider Constant Contact has created an affinity program to reward existing customers, increase the purchase cycle, and empower small merchants to compete. Interview with Constant Contact CEO Gail F. Goodman in the New York Times. (paywall)
Sidebar: Two merchants consider their experience with Groupon, Living Social and SaveLocal.
Mobile payments heat up
This week PayPal announced its entry into the mobile payments area, with a triangular smartphone attachment very similar to the Square Payment Service. This is one of several mobile payment models, the smartphone as cash register. (see infographic below for the other four flavors). What’s at stake? More than 2.7 percent of all transactions in a rapidly growing market. Today we have a plurality of ways to pay with a mobile device, but I expect there will be a shakeout as the big boys (Visa and MasterCard) get things sorted out. Meanwhile, Starbucks continues to go its own way with a smartphone-linked app that uses bar codes to link your Starbucks card to your mobile device.
Sidebar: Jonathan Stark used Twitter and his Starbucks card to share coffee with complete strangers. It was a sort of “leave a penny, take a penny” for the wired set. The experiment hummed along for awhile until Starbucks shut it down last summer.