Inboxes are groaning under the weight of the emails sent out by daily deal sites at the moment. And successful Australian group buying site Cudo and MediaWorks will soon be adding a few more. But while new collaborative buying sites seem to be a dime a dozen at the moment, the newest boy on the increasingly crowded block claims to have a big point of difference: the deals will be promoted regularly on television by a real live human. Ex Sunrise presenter and Breeze newsreader Carly Flynn has been roped in to talk about how much the great unwashed need to buy discounted manicures, bungy jumps or half price green fees, with daily offers broadcast nationally on TV3 at 8.10am, 12.10pm and 8.10pm and on FOUR twice during peak evening viewing. It's home shopping, but not as we know it.
MediaWorks radio stations—The Edge, The Rock, More FM, Kiwi FM, RadioLIVE, LiveSPORT, Solid Gold, The Breeze, George FM and Mai FM—will all run the offers at varying times across the day. And Microsoft and Nine Entertainment Co, which run MSN and ACP, are also onboard, so there is some significant media weight behind the site to push the deals.
The country's most successful deal site GrabOne, which is a joint venture between APN and Shane Bradley, can put a lot of its success down to cross promotion on APN media assets. It has also gone down the TV route recently to try and cement its position at the top, releasing a couple of TVCs to show the benefits of the site to business owners and consumers. As of yesterday it had sold 776,491 vouchers since its launch in July 09 and while Bradley won't say what the cut is, the NBR reported its rival Groupy takes 25 percent on sales. So the fact that it sold 21,465 movie tickets at $9 each in a recent deal and that Bradley estimates it will sell $3 million worth of vouchers in March shows it probably isn't a bad wee earner.
The news that Cudo would be setting up shop in New Zealand was announced at the start of February, just after the news that Groupy had been bought by Yellow. Since then, Trade Me's Treat Me has gone live, so, given that the new guy is kicking off on 28 March, it will be interesting to see if being late to the party has an effect.
General manager of Cudo New Zealand, Peter Loughlin, isn't too worried. He says after only six months in Australia Cudo quickly jumped to the position of market leader (although there's some debate about who's on top) and he’s confident it can do the same in New Zealand. Just like TiVo perhaps?
So are there too many of these sites? Are they a fad? Or are they actually a win for the business owners (who, with Cudo, "get all the big bang marketing exposure of TV, radio, online, magazines and mobile, with business owners paying only a percentage on the sales generated"), a win for the platform and a win for the consumer?