NEW YORK Alice.com is a revolutionary online service that could impact the industry on several levels, which is why it is important and should be on the radars of retailers and consumer packaged goods companies alike.
For starters, at a time when the economy is forcing shoppers to tighten their belts, Alice.com looks to make it cheaper for consumers to get their hands on household essentials, given that the site offers competitive pricing and no shipping fees. Plus, the reorder queue that monitors customer usage of an item and sends a reminder when the product needs replenishing is a value-added service that consumers are sure to welcome, and also helps set Alice.com apart from most other dotcoms.
Manufacturers — especially smaller players who are new to the market — also will save money, as Alice.com, which directly connects manufacturers with consumers, gives them an avenue to bypass hefty retailer-imposed fees that are required to get on store shelves. It also calls into question whether Alice.com could become a competitive response for manufacturers at a time when retailers are aggressively growing their private-label offerings.
The site's true success will become clearer when it fully launches in the fall, but what is evident today is that this is a fresh approach to the packaged goods industry, and it is one to be closely watched.