Could the local deals segment get any hotter than it is? The answer is still “yes” in all likelihood. Indeed, the “local offers” or “deals” arena is red hot right now — smokin’ to use the colloquial expression.
Earlier today I wrote about the launch of live offers platform Closely and this afternoon I discovered that local semantic search site Center’d is about to launch a consumer facing deals site and distribution vehicle called The Dealmap.
It appears to be a slightly different spin on the group-buying phenomenon, with deals coming from multiple sources (“the largest number of sources”), email delivery and Twitter distribution by city.
Similar to deals aggregator Yipit you’re able to select categories of offers, which appear in some cases to correspond to the types of local search categories (e.g., romantic, kid friendly, group friendly) that Center’d has set up on the parent site.
Another interesting element here: “Become a Deal Hero.” The copy on The Dealmap suggests a “mavens” or an influencers club or something along those lines (click to enlarge):
From what I can tell it appears to be a fairly polished presentation and reaches the UK (or London at least). There’s no mention of mobile on the site, but Center’d has an iPhone app and I would guess that’s lurking somewhere in the background here as well.
While there appears to be some version of offer aggregation going on, there’s also a direct deal submission form for SMBs (maybe users too):
The alchemical brew of deal sites, geo-location games, social media and mobile is now starting to really accelerate change in what had been a relatively stable and static local search market for several years.
Even though these deal sites are springing up like fungus in a damp forest there’s still an opportunity for Center’d/The DealMap (and others) given that the public remains largely ignorant of these sites. (Facebook is a sleeping giant here too.) There’s a land grab going on among coupon/offer/deal sites and a small number of leaders and brands will likely emerge in the not-too-distant future.
What’s interesting is that Center’d had been a thoughtful but still second-tier local search site (in terms of usage) so far. This new site is somewhat unexpected, really interesting and offers a potentially bigger opportunity for the company than the mothership itself.