LivingSocial (recast as a Facebook app) launches daily deal alerts focused on specific markets. The first market is NYC. According to the release:
“LivingSocial Deals” offers local merchants, such as today’s deal for 60% off with restaurant Brio, the opportunity to engage with LivingSocial’s active community of more than 60 million people. One offer per day is announced every morning through Facebook, Twitter, and email, and as soon as the sign-up quota for each offer is met, the coupons are distributed. Users have to ‘beat the clock,’ as the offer is only good until midnight of that day.
This is clever and should be quite successful. Online coupon redemption rates vary but range from roughly 10% to up to 30%, compared with <1% redemption for traditional “offline” coupons. This is chiefly an example of the push vs. pull nature of online compared with traditional coupons.
Meanwhile the NY Times offered an overview of mobile coupons last week that I’ve been meaning to comment on and link to. Here are the pieces of “hard” information in the article:
- In the first half of 2009, nearly 10 million digital coupons were redeemed, a 25 percent increase over the amount redeemed during the same period in 2008, according to Inmar, a coupon-processing company.
- About a third of the users who signed up for Cellfire say they have never used paper coupons, according to Cellfire’s chief executive, Brent Dusing.
- Cellfire says its redemption rate for mobile coupons is 15 to 20 percent. Paper coupons, by comparison, have redemption rates lower than 1 percent.
Smartphone users and coupons:
Source: AOL-Universal McCann, 2009 (n=1,800 US smartphone users)
According to this same AOL-sponsored study 25-34 year olds were the most interested in mobile coupons. And of those responding to mobile advertising, roughly 32%-35% responded to coupons or opt-in SMS alerts to receive future deals.
And finally, I spoke roughly a week ago to Matt Myers, CMO of couponer Shooger. The company has a terrific iPhone app and is seeking to fill it up with deals (call it a “beautiful shell”).
There’s a direct appeal to local merchants on the Shooger site, but the game is really about third party resellers. There’s more to the story than this but I’ll leave that for another time.
However, on the question of self-provisioning and coupons, I’ll say this: if a “Twitter of coupons” emerges that offers broad distribution and is very simple to use (a la Twitter), you’ll see self-service happen.