How price tracking apps are putting products first and not customers

January 27, 2023
How price tracking apps are putting products first and not customers
The Story of Fetchie

I love the idea of price tracking apps. I want to know when sales are on and know exactly when what I want to buy has a price drop. My only problem is that the websites and Apps available for this purpose are overwhelming and likely selling my data to retailers so they can stalk me on Facebook and Instagram. You know the saying that if the service is free…you are the product? I get the business model, but I'd rather avoid using the service.

Fetchie was born from this private price tracking idea. I can pop in what I want to keep track of, and the app doesn't spam me.

Other competitors use a "one size fits all" initial approach. Their business model relies on getting a commission for traffic-generated sales. So naturally, they share data. This lets other marketers build a profile to keep marketing more stuff to you.

You have to customise and customise some more, spending hours on the site until you see more 'relevant" information. No thanks. If I wanted general interest sales information, I could easily subscribe to the marketing material or use google shopping.Shouldn’t the tool start off blank and I add to it only as I see fit? That to me is personalising. Not the other way around where they guess what I want and I have to tell them yes or no constantly.

If you're like me, in these days of over-communication, you see enough ads in a day as it is. I still manage to find out what I want (usually FB) as I've been customising that platform for a long time, so the algorithm understands me perfectly. They own a lot of 1st party data on it. I know this, and this is what it is. I have no intention of discontinuing use.

Knowing when every single company's sale is on is not helpful. I don't have pets, I'm only into one sports brand, and I have no interest in gardening tools. My point is, why would I spend time sifting through all this information when really, I just want to know what I want to know, you know?

Personalisation is very important. Or is it?

I'm sure what we are all after these days is usefulness. You know, stuff that actually helps us and is easy to use. It's like, you have this problem, you start using this new tool, i.e., brand new price tracking apps and wow, it's pretty cool, and properly addressing my issue.

So, what is your issue regarding how you plan your shopping? Do you plan your shopping? Not everyone does, but it would be helpful if the tool you choose also is intuitive to what you do now. It's like apple (or insert your favourite brand); it works well on many levels.

Read about The Rise of Social Shopping: Personalising your Online Shopping Experience

Back to planning your shopping with price tracking apps

What I want is to track exactly what I want as I go. I might not even intend to buy the item; I just want to keep tabs on it in a file and see the cost. I certainly don't want to be stalked online. I don't want to start seeing ads for the random items I look at and save for later on my social feeds.

No thanks! I want a simple tool that is no harder to use than sharing a contact card with a friend, and I can keep everything personal. Use it for how I see fit.

For example, my son wants an Xbox for Christmas. My process for making this happen is I do some basic google shopping comparisons to see which retailers I'd consider buying from. I add their Xbox product listing to my Watch Cart and do a bit of price history checking to understand what the lowest price on the item has been to date, then sit back and wait for a price drop from any of the retailers. When I consider a price drop to be suitable, I hit the price drop notification, and it takes me to the product listing page so I can check out. Perfect. Happy kids, happy Mum. Christmas shopping done while waiting for my coffee.

I consider myself a fashionista; I follow what's happening in the fashion world and know what trends are coming each season. I also use Fetchie to track new clothing releases from multiple retailers, so I don't get caught up in buying new releases at the highest price. Instead, I wait for price drops on the items I'd consider investing in when they don't cost a bomb. Sometimes when certain styles are popular, I miss out on my size, but it doesn't worry me as I have alternatives from other companies also saved. Very proud of how I got my favourite shoes for half price last month using this technique. I knew they would drop in price at the beginning of winter, but I also knew that as soon as the sales hit, my size was likely the first to sell out, so this was my little advantage in knowing the sale was on as soon as the website updated. In your face, other size 39 shoe people! Knowing that Fetchie isn’t like the other price tracking apps where they’re constantly keeping tabs on what I do is a relief as well. I know they’ll have my back and not stalk me every time I try to buy those size 39 shoes.

My good friend is a proud "bargain hunter", and for her, it's all about saving money on everyday items. She's concerned with her family's health and providing the best she can afford for them. She wants to use Fetchie for keeping track of basics like medicines and household items. She likes to shop at stores that offer price matching, so she creates lists of all the things she buys and saves the competitors offering the same items; then, she can buy what she wants and show the prices they need to match at the counter. It saves her multiple trips to get these savings from the other stores, and with twin toddlers in tow, this is huge for her. She said, on average, this simple technique saves $100 easily off her basics each month, and she's now in the habit of flashing her watch cart list price comparisons to the staff, so it's all too easy.

My husband considers himself a savvy sleuth shopper. He is into buying premium items, but only when they are at the lowest price possible. His mission is to find the last stock items before a new product release. He's really into his research on products and will look at the price history to see trends on when products were released to know when they are likely to be replaced. He recently gifted me a fantastic recording studio microphone, which only cost a fraction of the RRP it started at.

I asked a few other friends how they were going with the Fetchie app (my lovely beta testers), and they reported on how they used it in their everyday lives.

Ben (not his real name) told me that when I first explained the idea of Fetchie to him, the first thing he thought to track was the price of isolated whey protein powder. He has a favourite brand and knows the store he buys from regularly has sales, but sadly he often misses them. Usually, the deal was around 15% off, and since he drinks a shake every day, he often stocks up when he does catch a sale. When he started tracking the protein powder, he discovered that a couple of other stores sell it, so he added them to his list. During the Bata testing phase, I got him to check in a few times a week. He said that between all the stores he was tracking, he could buy his favourite brand on sale and didn't feel the need to purchase multiples, as he could now get price drop alerts and compare the price against different stores just by using price tracking apps.

It was a small psychological change for him. Rather than dropping $100 each time, he could space out his spending and still get the best price.

Another of our lovely Bata testers was Lisa (also not her real name). Lisa said the first thing she wanted to track was a new release Oroton bag. She told me, “It’s so cute, but I'm not prepared to pay $389; I'll wait until the mid-year sale when it's likely to be 20-25% off. I asked her if she subscribed to the Oroton newsletter, and she said she did and would continue to, but it would be nice to get an alert rather than checking emails just for that purpose, then having to search the site to see if her bag was included in the sale.

Again, it was a small shift, but it made Lisa feel like she was getting a personalised alert that she chose, and she wouldn't miss out on what she wanted explicitly.

Stop wasting your free time shopping for the best deals. Use a price alert app.

If you haven't tried Fetchie yet, please give it a go. Pick something you genuinely want, and pop it into your Fetch List. Turn on the alarm to be notified of price changes, and see how it all feels and affects your shopping. It is free, after all, but for once, it's not because you are the product and your data is being sold. Most of all, it’s not like traditional price tracking apps that focus on the product rather than the customer. Fetchie is all about you! It's because we wanted this paw-fect tool to exist, one that we love, and we hope you will too, and share it with the world. Happy Shopping! Join our waitlist today so you never miss updates about Fetchie’s release!

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