Slifter - Find products on the go, but why?

Corner LogoNew York-based GPShopper announced on Nov. 8th that they have received an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. The round was led by Allen & Company LLC and Affiliates. The company is an aggregator of real-time product inventory data from national and local retailers.

SlifterGPSHopper’s primary product is Slifter, a mobile-app which allows people to search stores near their area to find out if a product they want is in-stock. The user’s location is either determined automatically on GPS-enabled phones or by manually inputting a zip code. The mobile version of the service, which is also available on their website, costs $1.99/mo.

Am I the only one that doesn’t recognize under exactly what circumstances this product will be useful? Here’s one out of only two scenarios I can imagine when I would use Slifter: while I’m driving, I suddenly remember that a new video game/console was released that morning, so I boot up Slifter to see if any Best Buys or Gamestops aren’t sold out of it yet. That’s it. And the chances of that happening are slim-to-none. This highlights an important requirement in order for Slifter to be useful — the product you’re searching for needs to have a high chance of being sold out. Otherwise, you wouldn’t consider searching, you’d just go to the nearest store and pick it up.

That’s why Slifter doesn’t make sense to me. Generally, consumers must have high awareness about the release of a product in order for that product to be at risk of selling out. It then follows that if a consumer is aware of the release date for something he or she really wants, they will do all their in-stock searching on their computer before they leave the house. This makes a lot more sense then driving around waiting for Slifter to ping you. Unless you’re caught off guard like in my above scenario, I don’t see any reason to utilize this, especially for a monthly charge (even though it’s only $2).

The other scenario I can envision that Slifter would come in handy is if you’re a parent on the look-out for a sold out toy around Christmas season (think Tickle Me Elmo), so you do a daily search on Slifter while you’re out running errands. There is some value here. But how many times per year does your average consumer experience this scenario? Maybe once? Again, the monthly fee doesn’t make sense here.

However, maybe I’m wrongSlifter claims that over one million people use the service every month. If you’re one of them, please comment below and tell me when/why.


One Response to “Slifter - Find products on the go, but why?”

  1. By Katharine Brown on Nov 12, 2021 | Reply

    I’ve actually been using the product for a couple of months and found it quite useful during a recent apartment move. Somewhere between point A and point B I lost a specific video cable and the Radio Shack near me didn’t carry it. I did a quick search on the Slifter site and found it at Best Buy, so I sent the product to my phone - showed the picture to a Best Buy employee who then helped me locate it in store. Problem solved! I’ve also used Slifter a handful of other times when it came to locating some specific items - (i.e. a dock for my ipod). What I find to be one of the major strengths with this application is that you can use Slifter via Web or mobile, which makes for easy access wherever you are.

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