Consumers Love Instant Deals

Let me make this extremely clear: At no other point in retail history has there been an option for merchants/retailers to promote themselves directly to consumers for a “deal” that is available right now, today only. When has a restaurant ever been able to communicate with consumers almost instantly stating that they have extra tables open for lunch or dinner and those that come in right now, within the next 1-2 hours, will get a special deal (say 50% off)? The answer is never, but now, both technology and distribution is available in order to fill dead inventory (hotel rooms, restaurant tables, car rentals, seats on a plane, spa services, personal services, sporting events, entertainment events, etc). And that is very exciting to both merchants and consumers.

I am presently in Toronto attending the NextMedia Conference over the next two days and meeting with various deal industry players throughout the rest of the week such as deal sites, investors, technology companies, media companies, etc. I have a very demanding schedule this week. As such, I will be taking full advantage of location based services such as “Instant Deals” in order to find restaurants with great deals around where I am. Not only have I grown to really like these services but I believe the industry under appreciates the power and potential of this functionality.

In the daily deals industry, these services are called “Instant or Real time Deals”. They enable a consumer to search for deals that are available and redeemable “Right now”, within the next few hours. They are published by retailers, restaurants and merchants who wish to attract consumers even at a discount instead of losing revenue on inventory that will perish forever. For instance a restaurant table that is not used or a massage therapist’s appointments from 3-5pm that is unbooked. These merchants publish their deals and they get distributed through the deal sites that have such functionality. Consumers then log on to their mobile “Instant Deals” site and see these “right now deals” within their vicinity.

In Canada, there are ONLY 3 daily deal companies that provide “Instant Deals” functionality and inventory.

1. Groupon has the functionality available in Toronto and Vancouver. They call it Groupon Now

2. Wagjag has the functionality available in Toronto. They call it Wagjag Express

3. Living Social has the functionality available in Toronto. They call it Living Social Instant

 

I have personally used these services and find them to be, as a consumer, very useful and convenient. Unfortunately the industry does not talk about them all that much, and they should. The restaurants I have gone to with friends or associates would have never gotten my business if I did not find them on these services. I have returned at full price to some of them as well.

The advantage for consumers is undeniable. The advantage for merchants is underappreciated.

With today’s mobile and location based technologies along with the distribution power of Groupon, Wagjag, Living Social and eventually other deals sites, well, merchants can now easily reach and promote a great deal to consumers if their inventory is going unused on a specific day. This is powerful and the business industry should make small business more aware of this ability to promote oneself.

As for me, I’ll be near Yonge and College over the next couple of days checking out some instant deals in my vicinity.

By the way, if you are a Daily Deal executive reading this and would like Instant Deals technology added to your deals site, then get a hold of me through the comment section or contact us section. I know a mobile tech company who can supply a white label product for you to use.

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