AmazonLocal Upgrade Addresses “Daily Deal Fatigue”

I’m an avid fan of daily deals sites.  I just love getting great deals on spas and restaurants.  But the one thing I hate about offers from daily deals sites is that they aren’t target specific.  I really don’t like getting deals for power drills and I doubt that guys enjoy getting offers for bikini or armpit waxing.

Good thing Amazon listens to their consumers.

Targeted deals

Amazon is bringing their famous recommendation technology to AmazonLocal, their daily deals arm.  AmazonLocal now lets users create a profile where they can denote preferences  (like, dislike, neutral) for a number of categories, ranging from entertainment and travel to health and beauty and shopping.

“We are reasonably new to to the deals space, but we aren’t new to the personalization experience,” said Mike George, Amazon’s VP of local. “This is a logical extension of a competency.”

The integration of the recommendation technology to AmazonLocal could lead to a much richer shopping experience on the daily deals site.   For now, the addition may not be too exciting, it just offers a way to bring you better deals – deals that you really like.  But in the future, shopping on Amazon could also be integrated in their daily deals offers.  For instance, you bought an iPhone on Amazon, you could be getting an offer for discounted iPhone accessories because of your iPhone purchase.  Simply put, your Amazon choices could help AmazonLocal offer better discounts to daily deals fans.

“It’s an interesting thing to think about — the intersection of consumer products and services that are fulfilled by local merchants,” George said. “There are some things that are logical that I believe we will discover that we would never have really thought about. This part is very new to us.”

Daily deal fatigue

Amazon’s new effort with regards to AmazonLocal is that it addresses the “daily deal fatigue” experienced by a lot of consumers.  The daily deal phenomenon used to be such a hit, but now, consumers are complaining that they hate getting e-mails from daily deal sites that don’t interest them.  They still love the idea of bargain shopping, they just hate getting junk mail.

And because of daily deal fatigue, daily deal sites are now suffering – less people are buying.  Even Groupon, the daily deal giant that went public last year, is said to be losing customers.  Their stocks plunged by more than half since their IPO.

Groupon’s beer-laced meeting

Speaking of Groupon, they held a closed-door town hall meeting to discuss their plans for the next six months, addressing their questionable financial report which led to a Securities and Exchange Commission probe, and caused a shareholder to sue the company.

During the candid meeting, Groupon employees were given the chance to ask questions of Groupon executives.  Beer was also available for everyone who attended the meeting.  Unfortunately, the free-flowing beer resulted in an overly candid meeting with an intoxicated CEO.

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason delivered comments such as “We’re still this toddler in a grown man’s body in many ways,” pertaining to the controversial financial revision as “the latest in a string of just us making an example of how bad we are at being a public company. We have to get good at this,” and stated that the company needs to slow down by “not taking stupid risks,” then at one point, he apologized when his voice broke stating, “Sorry, too much beer.”

Mixing beer and meetings isn’t a great idea.  So I guess a town hall meeting with beer is one of the “stupid risks” the company would avoid in the future.

Location-based deals

Amazon is certainly on the right path with its location-based deals.  In TNS’ annual “Mobile Life” study conducted among 48,000 people across 58 countries, it was revealed that 19% of mobile users are keen on using location-based services.

“It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches,” said TNS’s head of digital and technology practice, James Fergusson.

The study states that 46% of users use GPS in adopting location-based services while 13% use Facebook and Foursquare’s check-in feature.  Users are fond of using location-based services to look for entertainment venues and restaurants at 26%, while 19% use the service to check transportation schedules.