Zeroing in on Daily Deals

If all politics is local, all deals are hyperlocal. The problem: too many deals services aren’t doing a great job with zeroing in on specific geographic areas. According to Vinicius Vacanti, CEO of deal aggregator Yipit, which introduced a new location-based service last week called Yipit Locations, one of the things that tempers consumer enthusiasm for the deeply discounted offerings from the steadily increasing number of daily deals distributors is the lack of relevance. The key to maintaing relevance is greater refinement, he said.

“If you said you didn’t want laser hair removal offers, you will never get a laser hair removal offer,” Vacanti said. But because of the size of the markets in which Yipit operates, even if you were interested in laser hair removal, it was as likely as not that the offers you would get in that category would be within the area in which you typically purchase your goods and services. Vacanti suggested consumers don’t have coupon fatigue. They have wrong coupon fatigue

“People are spending 80 to 90 percent of their disposable income locally,” he said. “They don’t have fatigue over spending their money.”

This is critically important as the number have deal services has exploded. Consumers just a year or two ago had fewer choices and were still intrigued by the novelty of the group-buying model. Now, Yipit aggregates 485 sites spread across 32 markets.

Making deals more geographically relevant to the end user involves collecting additional data both from the end user and the business offering the deal. Because Yipit is already monitoring all of the daily deals sites that it aggregates not only for its own aggregation service, but because it sells that information to daily deals sites, it already collects data about the deals being offered and the businesses offering those deals.

One of the challenges to tailoring deals geographically Vacanti said, is the basic problem of ad copy not making clear where the business is. He said that Yipit is able to determine latitude and longitude and, consequently, target deals to a within a five or six block radius of the business.

The other part of the equation is collecting additional data from consumers. When consumers sign up for Groupon or LivingSocial, they are asked for the city or cities for which they wish to receive deal notifications and are placed in large geographical categories. When consumers sign up for Yipit, they are now asked to provide a street address. Vacanti said that 70 percent of new Yipit members are providing the information and choosing to receive offers that are very close to their homes. He said that the company is signing up 1,000 new members each day.

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