From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Silent - yet engaging - addition to your sales team?

Ready to add a bit more fun to your store, AND generate incremental sales? Consider this friendly Tortoise, a "tap to pay mobile smart store."

Here's how it works. You choose items to sell that can be boxed, and held at room temperature. Maybe it's a dozen cookies. Or a book. Coffee mugs? Mobile phone rechargers. Whatever makes sense for your store. (And apparently, higher priced goods do especially well.)

Place the boxes into a Tortoise container that has colorful graphics of what's inside and the price per box, and send the Tortoise on its way.

Like right outside your store, or a nearby park (if you have appropriate permits.) 

It's a colorful, attention-getting, tap-to-pay vending machine on wheels. 
  • The customer taps to pay with their credit card; when the payment is authorized, the container's lid opens; the customer withdraws their boxed purchase. 
  • What happens if they take more than one box? Tortoise is watching, and unless they put it back, charges their credit card for all boxes removed. 
We spoke with the Dmitry Shevelenko, the co-founder, to find out more about this seemingly very approachable robot. (We have no financial arrangement with them, and will receive nothing if you do reach out to the company. This is simply an FYI.)

Shevelenko was quick to tout how their pricing model reflects retailers' resistance to up-front charges: the retailer pays 10% of gross sales from the robot. Except for the shipping charges for the robot, there are no charges for hardware, software, maintenance, even merchant fees. 

Where can the Tortoise be used? Wherever there is 4G connectivity, and where Square readers will work. 

Think of it as a way to take your store to where the customer is. Might they be walking by right outside your door?

Again, we have no financial stake whatever. We simply think this is a fun piece of information to share with you. In the hands – and imaginative minds – of independent retailers, you might be able to bring some more fun into your store.

See? We do fun occasionally. 

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