Over the weekend, sales tracking service Hukkster announced that it was shutting down its business, sad news for the chronic online shoppers who used the tool to watch for price drops on the clothing and other goods they wanted. Although the discount alert space has in recent years filled with startups vying for people's click love, Hukkster was in many ways the best known, having grown to a reported 300,000 users and raised $4.5 million from investors over the course of its two-year run.
So where should their fans go now?
Hukkster co-founder Katie Finnegan said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon that the team hasn't actively suggested alternative services, but that she hopes people shopping around for a new tool will consider a few things as they make their decisions. Information about retailers' shipping policies and the option to track by size and color are key features to look out for, she says, as is the incorporation of coupons into the equation, which can be tricky.
Finnegan declined to comment on the reasons for Hukkster's closure.
While Hukkster focused on keeping its customers abreast of price drops on specific items they were interested in buying, the San Francisco-based Shop It To Me goes broader, letting people know any time their favorite brands go on sale. The idea behind casting a wider sales net is that if someone loves one top from Joie, they'll probably love a bunch of other ones by the same label, CEO Charlie Graham tells Fashionista. While Shop It To Me, which was founded in 2005, has a feature for tracking specific items similar to Hukkster's service, Graham believes that focusing on that side of the business can be limiting.
It's debatable which leads to more conversions: While Shop It To Me increases the number of items a customer looks at, the intent of buying any one item is weaker than it might be for Hukkster's laser-focused user base.
While Graham said Shop It To Me hasn't seen a noticeable boost in sign-ups since Hukkster folded, the service WorthIt has, according to CEO Jason Kaminsky. It's hard to say whether there's a direct correlation, of course, but we have noticed a few of Hukkster's competitors reaching out to Hukkster users on Twitter to sign up for their services following the close.
So what other options exist for former Hukkster users who want to keep tracking online sales? You might want to check out:
PoachIt: PoachIt allows you to track specific items and receive e-mail alerts when they go on sale. The company also tracks price history, so you can see if the item has ever been listed for less than it is presently.
Rack It Up: Allows its 10,000 users to create virtual closets with clothes they want and track price drops accordingly.
Shoptagr: Track and receive sales alerts for individual items via e-mail and push notification.
Nifti: Like WorthIt, Nifti's sales-tracking service isn't specific to clothing and it lets its users set a desired price range on products — helpful for big-ticket buys.
Shoppers have a lot of options. And for those deeply mourning Hukkster's closure, don't cry for long. Although Finnegan and Bell haven't announced their next moves, we doubt they'll stray far from the retail space.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Hukkster did incorporate coupons into their sales alerts. A previous version has suggested that it was a problem they weren't able to crack.