Posted: 10.24.16 Online Marketplace

Blue Kangaroo’s Personalized Tools Seek to Redefine How Consumers Find the Products They Want

By: Sean Garrity

The Crunch: In 2010, Blue Kangaroo made a splash in the deal economy with its development of innovative, personalized tools that allow consumers to connect to the products and retailers that specifically interest them. Its personal shopper, the “Roo,” customizes the shopping experience by cutting through the clutter of irrelevant deals and recommends the products consumers actually want. This coupled with tools, such as price drop notifications, in-stock alerts, and product comparison functions, make Blue Kangaroo a unique destination for consumers looking for bargains. 

Not long ago, I got on a kick to start eating healthier and maybe even exercise a bit. Determined to drink at least one smoothie a day, I set off on a quest to find a good deal on a blender. As I browsed some various coupon and deal sites, I found myself constantly trying to narrow down search results by product category and retailer. But I kept ending up with only a few blender coupons and a whole bunch of ads for anything from juicers to refrigerators.

There are too many deal sites on the web that bombard consumers with ads and coupons irrelevant to the deals and products they’re actually looking for. I’ve never really understood this approach. Casual visitors to these sites are probably not going to be converted into customers by pages oversaturated with seemingly unrelated products, and savvy consumers usually know exactly what they want and what kind of deal they’d like to get on it.

From both a retailer and consumer perspective, no one wins in this scenario. Consumers don’t end up seeing the products they want, and retailers don’t convert the customers they need.

Paul Nichols, Blue Kangaroo’s Director of Business Development, aims to enhance the consumer experience.

“It’s always a bit of a struggle to find deals, sales, and products that you’re actually interested in,” said Paul Nichols, Director of Business Development for Blue Kangaroo. “We recognized that, if we could create a machine that would serve up discounts and products the consumer actually wants, it would make for a better shopping experience.”

By offering innovative, personalized tools, Blue Kangaroo allows consumers to circumvent the obstacles to finding the products and deals they’re most interested in. A customizable personal shopper, price drop and in-stock notifications, product comparison tools, and its user-friendly overall design make Blue Kangaroo a unique destination for consumers looking for bargains online.

Blue Kangaroo’s Personal Shopper Cuts Through the Clutter of the Deal Economy

Probably the most useful item in the Blue Kangaroo toolbox is its personal shopping assistant, the “Roo.” The Roo allows consumers to customize their shopping experience based on the products and retailers they choose and search for most.

It all begins when consumers sign up and decide on product and retailer categories of interest. Once consumers start browsing and searching for products and deals, the Roo takes over. Powered by an algorithm engineered by Blue Kangaroo’s development team, the Roo learns consumers’ shopping interests and begins to make recommendations.

“Through the personalization wizard, you can select the categories, brands, and retailers you actually like,” Paul said. “Our recommendation engine will serve up deals relevant to those retailers and product categories, so we’re going to give you what you want without you having to sift through a bunch of irrelevant search results.”

The Roo tracks consumer movement through Blue Kangaroo’s 60M+ product pages to present the right items.

The Roo tracks consumer movement through Blue Kangaroo’s product pages, all 60 million of them, which allows Blue Kangaroo to put the types of deals and products that consumers want directly in front of them.

In addition to tracking directly on the site, Blue Kangaroo gives consumers the option to use a browser extension and opt into a program that lets Blue Kangaroo gather consumer data outside its site to present even better deals. And as Paul explained, this furthers the personalization of the shopping experience.

“That we’re able to make such effective recommendations is non-trivial,” he said. “Our development team really pulled off quite a feat with the personalization tool. We’re able to figure out consumer interests and cater directly to them.”

Intuitive Tools Let Consumers Know Where and When to Find Deals

A host of other tools offered by Blue Kangaroo let consumers seamlessly find the products they need. With price drop and in-stock notifications plus product comparison tools, shoppers are sure to connect with the retailers and products that best suit their needs.

All of these functions are also available on Blue Kangaroo’s mobile app, which means shoppers can compare prices and seek deals on the go.

“The mobile app is something people see real value in,” Paul said. “People can use it for in-store offers. If you’re going to a local mall and want to visit, say, Bed Bath and Beyond, you can load their coupons on the app and use them on site.”

Users Never Miss a Sale with Price Drop Notifications

Nothing more frustrating than buying a product, thinking you got a great deal, only to see it at a drastically reduced price the next day. Blue Kangaroo makes sure shoppers avoid this annoyance by offering a price drop notification tool.

The price drop alert feature lets consumers set up notifications to inform them when a price drops.

“If the product you’re looking at is priced at, say, $250, but you’ve seen that it’s been as expensive as $275 and as low as $225, you can set the price alert to notify you when it goes down to $225,” Paul said. “It’s great to get that email that lets you know that the product you were interested in is available at the lowest possible price.”

The price drop notification tool is especially useful in light of today’s dynamic pricing game in which retailers fluctuate prices regularly, sometimes even hourly. An article on dynamic pricing by the National Retail Federation noted that over the course of just one month Walmart and Best Buy each made more than 50,000 price changes. It’s easy to see why that can be frustrating to consumers and why Blue Kangaroo developed this notification tool.

Alerts Notify Consumers When Products Become Available

Another great feature offered by Blue Kangaroo is out-of-stock notifications. If a consumer is set on buying a product that is currently out of stock at a specific merchant, this tool will send an email notification to the consumer once the item becomes available.

This saves time for consumers, as they don’t have to keep checking back. And it keeps the retailer top of mind for the consumers who initially searched for their products.

Product Comparison Ensures the Best Bargain

A very useful element under the Blue Kangaroo umbrella is the ability of consumers to compare prices on its product pages.

“We find that people really like that feature,” Paul said. “It’s a pretty remarkable tool that can really save consumers money. If they see another merchant offering the same product at a lower price, people jump on that.”

Blue Kangaroo lets shoppers compare prices between merchants, which saves time and money.

In addition to the product they’re looking for, a consumer on a Blue Kangaroo product page will also see recommendations based on what other people bought. Shoppers aren’t being bombarded — they’re seeing relevant items based on what they’re looking at.

Innovative Design Paves the Way to Connect Consumers with the Products They Want

What Blue Kangaroo has really accomplished is changing the face of online shopping. Its features give consumers the broadest available product offerings with the best deals while avoiding the cluttered feel that is present on some other sites.

I didn’t want to look at refrigerators when I was searching for blenders. Ultimately, the blender I ended up buying was reasonably priced, but it’s now collecting dust on a shelf as I’ve since traded my smoothies for bacon and eggs. But I’m sure I could’ve gotten a better deal on it with a little more effort and help from specific recommendations.

Blue Kangaroo’s design allows the flexibility consumers need to effectively navigate through the sea of deals retailers offer. This is thanks to Blue Kangaroo’s editorial and development teams collaborating on finding the best deals for consumers and developing the algorithms that bring those deals to the forefront.

“There are so many ways consumers can use our tools to their advantage,” Paul said. “Instead of registering at one store for their wedding, couples are making lists using our tools so their guests can shop from a multitude of venues. The personalization capabilities are really state-of-the-art. It’s designed with the consumer in mind and really creates a great shopping experience.”

About The Author

As a contributing editor at DealCrunch, Sean Garrity uses his extensive experience researching and writing for numerous publications to write in-depth features on retail industry innovations. His passion for learning about the latest trends and technologies helps him share up-and-coming solutions with the retail community.

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