While checking out some Google case studies I came across a site call Woot! Woot! is an extremely interesting site. If someone were to come to me with the concept I would have said it would never work. At first glance, the business model seems stupid: sell a single different product each day, offer little to no customer service — and make fun of the products in the daily promotions. But Woot, Inc. does all of this, with great results.
The company’s “one day, one deal” closeout site has garnered plenty of attention (and more than 300,000 registered customers) since launching in July 2004. Time magazine named Woot! one of the “50 Coolest Websites” in 2005. When Woot! posts its latest deal each day at midnight, Central Standard Time, customers flock to the site to buy the latest “Woot.”
The first person to buy the day’s product is known as the “First sucker” and gets his name highlighted with the time he made the purchase. The person who buys the last item is call “Wooter to blame for sellout” and get his name highlighted with the time he created the sellout. Once an item is sold out, nothing else is offered for sale until midnight the next day. In today’s case, the product sold out at 1:49PM. That means Woot! users have to wait another 10 hours for the next item. What do they do between now and then? Most chat on the forum and make comments on the blog.
To maximize the potential of Woot! the owners have added Google AdSense to give their users something to click on while they wait for the next sale. Having Google on their site has worked out very well for Woot! Creative Director Dave Rutledge says “Our store’s a little strange in that when we sell out of something, we don’t sell anything else for the rest of the day. In the forums, it’s serious at first, then when we sell out, you get a friendlier conversation where people are saying, ‘Oh no, I waited too long.’ In that way, AdSense is cool: somebody who comes in and misses the deal can still find the product elsewhere through the Google ads.”
How much does Woot! make from Google? Rutledge would not say but with 300,000 Woot! users, it’s pretty safe to say they make “quite a bit.”