Denner customers squeeze prices

The online agency Notch Interactive has developed a social platform for Denner on which customers can help shape prices. CEO Peter A. van der Touw explains what Social-discount.ch is all about in an interview.

Following in the footsteps of Migipedia, Denner is now letting its customers have their say on the social network. This is made possible by the platform developed by the online agency Notch Interactive. Social-discount.ch. Users can lower the prices of selected products with a click. Werbewoche spoke with Peter A. van der Touw, CEO of the online agency responsible, Notch Interactive, about the web project. 

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WW: Denner allows customers to change prices on the Internet. What is the idea behind this?
Peter A. van der Touw: With Social-discount.ch, Denner is consistently implementing its claim "Denner - One for all". Every customer can directly influence the price of the products.

How does this work?
On the Social-discount.ch platform, three products are available for one week at a time. Sweets, toilet paper, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages - you name it. Users can lower the price of an item by clicking on it. In the following week, the discounted products are then available in Denner stores.

What discount can customers expect?
In some cases over 50 percent. The more users click on a product, the cheaper it becomes. That means: If you encourage friends to join in, you profit additionally.

What aspects did Notch Interactive focus on when developing the platform?
The website is "fully responsive", which means it works on smartphone, tablet or desktop. In addition, it is designed to be as simple as possible. Users should be able to do what they want in just a few steps: lower the price. Last but not least, we made sure that the success of the platform is measurable for Denner. In the form of recommendations, ratings - or the effective sales of the product.

Can the products also be ordered online?
No. The goal is to bring users into the stores. If it is a product from the Denner wine shop, you can of course buy it online.

How do you measure whether users who have voted on the website have subsequently purchased the product?
We measure the participation on the net - and can determine how great the interest in a campaign was based on the sales. The extent to which customers have bought the products they voted for on the Internet is not relevant in the first phase.

How is the platform publicised?
Consumers will be informed in Denner's flyer "DennerWoche" and via the newsletter, which reaches over 100'000 subscribers. A banner campaign will also be rolled out from next week. In addition, we are relying on the viral effect. The fact that the discounts can be increased in percentage terms if friends participate in the campaign means that the platform will certainly be recommended to others.

To what extent have you been inspired by Migros' social media platform Migipedia?
Not at all. At Migipedia, consumers rate products, comment and make suggestions for improvement. They can have a say in whether a toilet paper should be 3-ply or 5-ply. On Social-discount.ch, the main aim is to lower the price. Migipedia is a longer-term story and almost goes in the direction of research. We, on the other hand, have a short cycle: the vote runs for a week, after which you can buy the product - and the case is closed.

How does the social media project fit into Denner's Internet strategy?
Our task is to establish a connection with customers in the virtual environment and to start a dialogue. However, Social-discount.ch runs independently of Denner's website.

How big is the effort for Notch Interactive when the platform is online?
Most of the work took place in the run-up. After we presented the idea to Denner, we had to clarify whether the project was at all feasible in terms of organization and logistics. How can the prices be adjusted in the stores afterwards? Can it be ensured that the products are available in the required quantities? The maintenance of the website and the exchange of the promotions, on the other hand, are less costly because a CMS was created specifically for this purpose.

What other ideas do you have in your quiver for Social-discount.ch?
If the platform is successful, we may introduce further options. However, we obviously cannot reveal our further plans at this stage.

Interview: Isabel Imper

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Responsible at Denner: Petra Gayko (Head of Marketing Communications, overall responsibility), Sabine Gassmann (Project Manager Marketing Communications). Responsible at Notch Interactive: Peter van der Touw (overall responsibility), Martin Pfeiffer (concept, producing), Jeff Gerber (creative direction), Marco Klein (art direction), David Elmiger (concept, text), Angela Erni (design), Vera Weber (consulting), Tobias Fuhlroth (technical direction), Martin Bächtold (application programming), Matthias Meier and Jonas Huber (frontend programming).

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