What next for the daily deals?
The phenomenon of regular offers steams ahead regardless of deal fatigue. So what can consumers expect to see in the future?
WHEN THEY WERE first launched, it seemed that not many of us could resist the lure of a daily deal offering an all-you-can eat platter and jug of beer for €20 or a cut-price beauty treatment.
Some 18 months on, however, deal fatigue has started to set in, with many of us now rueing such purchases as a voucher for teeth whitening that was never used.
But if the lustre is coming off daily deals, the phenomenon continues to steam ahead nonetheless – so what can consumers expect to see next? The other major challenge for deals operators is how to keep coming up with offers that catch people’s imaginations – and loosens their fingers to make them purchase.
So far, the Irish daily deal market has been dominated by Groupon, LivingSocial and Megadeals, the offering from Pigsback.com, but there are plenty of other players in the space, such as Grabone and Rewarding Times, which is from The Irish Times.
And given that there are very few barriers to entry, the providers keep on coming. Facebook for example, launched its Deals product last year in the US and other regions including the UK.
The concept involved users getting deals in their area once they checked into the website using Facebook Places. However, after just four months of testing it pulled the plug on it, but you couldn’t rule out the social media giant looking to get back into the space.
Similarly in the US, internet giant Google – which previously tried to buy Groupon – has also moved into the space and has looked to differentiate itself by allowing users to customise offers. So, if you live in a certain post code in Manhattan for example, you will be sent offers related to your surroundings, while you can also choose the offers you’d like to be sent – so no tempting deals for teeth whitening then.
While the daily deal model requires you to make a purchase first in order to avail of a discount, a number of new operators have come on the scene allowing you to download vouchers to your phone or to use when shopping online.
Vouchercloud, for example, allows consumers to access digital vouchers directly on their smart phone. It uses GPS to search out the deals nearest to you, so if you’re out and about and looking for a discount you can simply use the app to find a venue and then present the voucher on your phone to claim the offer.