Monster Offers, a daily deals aggregator, is staking out real estate at the intersection of daily deals and mobile marketing. The company has announced that it is partnering with Zala, a mobile financial services platform, to streamline the daily deals purchase experience for consumers using mobile devices.
Monster is taking a page from the PayPal and iTunes playbooks, both of which have proved that for consumers, convenience is king. Even as many daily deals services move to make deals more relevant to users wherever and whenever they want them, the experience of purchasing a deal using a mobile device is still burdensome.
This is crucial as daily deals move into their second act: on the phone. As it stands now, buying and redeeming a deal is somewhere in the Stone Age, requiring an email and coupon printout, in most cases. Mobile figures to change that, potentially opening up the category even more.
Most location deal services are still clunky. They allow users to request, for example, a restaurant deal that is close to their current location, click “buy,” then get to yet another page on which they must enter their credit card information. And even though most deal services are working furiously to ensure that merchants are prepared for consumers who arrive with mobile devices instead of paper coupons, the learning curve, especially for small businesses, can be steep.
According to Paul Gain, CEO of Monster Offers, the “one-click deal purchase” solves a number of unmet consumer needs while creating a new source of revenue for deal distributors and aggregators.
Gain said that for the mobile user, the process of purchasing a deal, especially from an aggregator, often discourages consumers. Consumers who identify deals from aggregators in which they are interested, click on the deal and are re-directed to the deal owner, Groupon, or LivingSocial, for example. Aggregators “have super high open rates, but very low conversion rates,” he said.
Using Monster’s banking platform, “consumers can create a daily deal e-wallet, if you will,” said Gain. “They find a deal; they purchase it. The deal is instantly available. They can print it or keep it in an e-wallet. They can also redeem it with a Visa-branded debit card at the restaurant.” The card will reflect the deals the consumer has purchased, but it can also serve as a general-use debit card and can be used in the same way that any pre-paid credit card can be used.
Additionally, Gain said that the aggregator or deal originator that introduces a consumer to the Monster/Zala platform creates an ongoing revenue stream for itself. The referring company will receive a portion of the credit card fee collected whenever that consumer uses the card anywhere, to purchase anything.
Gain said that the platform can also be used as “person to person mobile money. If I owe a friend five bucks, I can send it to him on my mobile device and the money will become available on his debit card.” He said that the platform will be up and running in about four weeks and that when the platform launches, Monster will announce several key partners in the scheme.
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