With Facebook and Yelp recently shutting down their deals initiatives, and Groupon holding off on its IPO, it’s no wonder there is endless speculation on whether the “Daily Deals” industry is just another bubble ready to burst. Well as a daily deals addict, I am here to proclaim, “Daily deals aren’t going anywhere!”
Just this past Tuesday a LivingSocial deal for Whole Foods not only set a record for LivingSocial but broke industry records as well. The deal offered $20 worth of Whole Foods groceries for $10; it became an instant hit nation-wide. LivingSocial officials said they were selling about 115,000 deals an hour. The company’s plans where to sell a million of the deals, 820,000 were sold by 3pm Tuesday. If this recording breaking deal doesn’t prove the industry is holding strong, Groupon’s recent investment funding topping $950 million in January might. The top five daily deals companies have earned over $2.1 billion collectively and continue to grow and expand.
Now as a daily deal user myself I am not immune to the negative aspects of the industry such as annoying email alerts 6-7 times a day, bad customer experience at some retailers not equipped to handle the new demand brought on by the deals, or just getting carried away with the rush of the deal and purchasing coupons I never use.
Yet, I find myself not turning away from the industry but finding new ways to overcome these pestering annoyances. I recently discovered a site called CoupRecoup, where you can sell your unused coupons. The site is a clever and inventive way to help customers (like me) not have buyer’s remorse or as Katherine Woo, co-founder of CoupRecoup, calls it “Groupon remorse.” Another great tool for overwhelmed daily deals users is the site called CityPockets, which helps keep track of all yours deals from various sites and sends reminders of their expiration dates. For dealing with horrible customer service, I’ve learned to do my research and choose my purchases wisely. I’ve realized that service-oriented businesses like salons or restaurants tend to be the biggest culprits of bad customer experiences, where waiting times can become as endless as a doctor’s office. A way of preventing this is to see how many deals must be purchased, if the number seems way to high for a tiny salon, don’t expect to get an appointment before 2013. Putting all these problems aside I must say I have found some pretty stellar deals like only paying $9 for 3 movie tickets, or my incredible 4-course sushi dinner for $40, and I even got back-stage passes to the recent Electric Zoo music festival for $50.
So it the “Daily Deal” bubble ready to explode? I think not. What I think will happen is the industry will change, evolve and refine itself to create the best experience for its shoppers. Sites like CoupRecoup, and Citypockets are already providing services to enhance your experience, allowing customers to continue shopping without any hassles. It’s hard to believe that an industry that can find up to 90% discounts on everything from travel, to movie tickets, to 4-course dinners locally is going anywhere.
Have you found any awesome deals lately?