TrialPay has recently gained a following among online businesses and investors. Now that the idea is attracting more well-known retailers, analysts said, consumers could see more free offers in the coming months.
“This is a very strange, unique animal, but I could see where it would work,” said Dana Gould, an analyst with Financial Insights, a consultant group based in Framingham, Mass. “And since these offers come at exit points, companies are basically saving lost sales.”
Stopzilla, which sells computer security software for around $40, already offers 15-day free trials for prospective customers. After the trial period, those who go to the site to uninstall the program are shown a pop-up window asking if they would like to receive the product free.
They are then shown a list of companies, including Blockbuster, GameFly and Citi, that have agreed to subsidize the cost of the Stopzilla purchase if the customer agrees to also sign up with them.
If they agree, customers are taken, at that point, to a Web site like Blockbuster or Gap, and when they complete their purchase they are sent a code by e-mail for redeeming their free item. Sometimes, these merchants and other TrialPay advertisers, like Gap and Stamps.com, will sweeten the deal with discounts of their own.
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