The internet is jammed packed with companies pushing products and attempting to find some form of leverage over their competition. WOOT.com (Woot) is a deal site which has the tagline “One day, One deal”; a tagline which for the most part describes them well. If one searches Google.com for ‘top deal sites,’ the site lifehacker.com comes up as each of the first four hits (excluding the ads). The third hit is titled “Five Best Daily Deals Sites.” This is the category in which Woot belongs. After further inspection, the top five daily deals sites listed by lifehacker.com are: WOOT!, Groupon, LivingSocial, TeeFury, and 1 Sale A Day. Is this pure coincidence that Woot is at the top of the list? What is Woot.com and how are they maintaining and arguably gaining in this genre of daily deals sites? These questions, as well as an analysis of how Woot harnesses social media (SM) in order to gain competitive advantage will be discussed throughout this paper.
Driving and constraining factors related to SM adoption in the origination1 Performance indicators related to SM2
Impacts of SM in the organization4
Formulating SM strategy for the organization6
Driving and constraining factors related to SM adoption in the origination
WOOT.com started as a way for Matt Ruttledge, Woot’s founder, to sell off unsold inventory. This inventory was primarily electronics, as Ruttledge ran a wholesale electronics distributor. Rutledge never would have guessed that Woot was destined to be the harbinger site, a new business model for online deal-a-day shopping, meshing bargain shopping and humor. There is also an urgency factor he cleverly infused as well as a limited inventory, which when coupled with WOOT’s splash of humor (Thomas, 2008) became their M.O. (mode/method of operation/Modus Operandi) (askville.amazon.com, 2012). With Woot.com, social media is primarily used by its customers to gain instant access to the current product(s) for sale. With Woot’s sometimes limited stock of a product or amazing pricing on a product, the item has been known to sell out within minutes of being posted (fuscosmblog, 2010), this I know from personal experience. In an attempt to have instant availability to Woot’s posting a product, customers and fans (wooters) use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to be updated as soon as the new product is available (Finn, 2010). As for Woot’s competition, there is no formal commentary on how Woot responds to or even acknowledges competition. Woot’s model is to simply sell a product at an extremely discounted price (Onlinescamsuncovered.com). Many times the products themselves are poked fun at and mocked as well as Woot will mock themselves or customers. A great example of this line of thinking comes from the horse’s mouth, himself, Rutledge who said [Woot] “earns a living on snarky commentary and junk" (Levine 2010). Driving factors relating to Woot’s adoption of social media come from the need to answer their customers desire to be informed (Finn, 2010). Woot not only announces the next item for sale to their customers, but also nearly instantaneously provides their customers, customer service via SM outlets such as twitter and RSS feeds (Gelberg, 2012) Constraining factors related to Woot’s adoption of social media includes some of the standard factors one would imagine. Not everyone is interested in creating a twitter account and checking it daily. Also, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have limitations. Twitter for instance has a max character limitation, whereas Facebook has its own problems with content overload in certain cases (Shapiro, 2010). Performance indicators related to SM
Woot, like many online stores thrive when the social media channels are buzzing with chatter about, well, themselves. As previously...