‘Grabsters’ at GrabOne turn to retail

INM deals company celebrates two years of offering discounts to ‘Grabbies’

Ruairi Doyle: "We're competing now in the same space as Amazon."

Ruairi Doyle: "We're competing now in the same space as Amazon."


The daily deals industry hasn’t gone away, but it is evolving. Discount offers from deals companies are increasingly turning from the experiential – meals, massages, lessons of all kinds – to the less time-consuming joys of retail.

“There’s a big move towards retail goods and delivering items to your door,” says Ruairi Doyle, general manager of Grab- One, a joint venture between IdeaHQ and Independent News & Media.

“We’re competing now in the same space as Amazon, which is a big play for us,” says Doyle. GrabOne.ie now divides its offers into three strands: “experience”, “escapes” (for travel deals) and “store”.

In a week in which market-leaders Groupon announced it was to create 20 jobs in Dublin, GrabOne is not to be outdone, holding a party in Dublin tonight to celebrate its second birthday.

‘Secret sauce’
GrabOne has attracted 5,000 merchants and a total of 500,000 customers (or “Grabbies”) to date, with more than 700,000 transactions completed through the site over the past two years. A quarter of deals are now executed via mobile, says Doyle.

The site, which employs 40 people (or “Grabsters”), claims a 20 per cent share of the Irish deals market, which Doyle values at €60-€80 million – and growing. Its main competitors are the US companies Groupon and Living Social. “We’re batting for Ireland here as well,” says Doyle.

The “secret sauce” of the business is to train merchants to “construct the right offer and bring in the right type of customer” – the right customers being the ones who will go on to bring in repeat, non-discounted business.

Targeting “the CEO of the household” also helps – some 70 per cent of GrabOne’s customers are women. In a possibly related statistic, it has to date sold deals on 95,000 candles, or “enough to burn for 109 years”.