Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

LivingSocial Amazon.com Deal

Posted in Advertising, Design, My Rambles, Usability by kmtom on January 20, 2011

You may or may not have heard of Groupon or the idea of it. But basically, it’s a service that offers (usually) daily coupons on various things, restaurants, spas, golfing lessons, gift certificates. One example is a $40 gift card to a local restaurant for $20 that expires in 3 months. It works for the restaurant, because it might get some new customers into their restaurant and it works for current customers because they get something at a discount.

Well, yesterday LivingSocial offered a deal for an Amazon gift card at 50% off. A $20 gift card for $10 with no expiration. Too good to be true? Well, maybe. They’re definitely losing money on the deal. By the end of the day, over 1.3 million coupons were sold.

So why do something like this? Well, they’re currently losing to Groupon (or at least they were). According to Website Magazine, as of September 2010, Groupon had 40% of coupon seeking traffic while  LivingSocial had 20%. I’m sure that this not only increased traffic but it also increased LivingSocial’s member base and awareness in the marketplace. I bought the deal. How could you not? And I told my friends and my mom. My mom had never heard of things like this. Well now she knows, and now she’s bought one. And I can pretty much guarantee she’s going to buy another and maybe even more than that. So how much will the dropped $10 on her first LivingSocial purchase actually net for the company? Probably more than $10.

Now, since we’re on the topic, I am not very happy with LivingSocial’s website. Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • It caches your location. So if you go in and are on a national deal page, it thinks your in D.C., even if you’ve set your preferred city. This is the cause for the other two gripes:
    • Why is the above deal showing for Washington, D.C.? I am not near Washington, D.C. I’m signed in and have set my preferred city. I get it’s a national deal, so show the USofA!
    • When you go to LivingSocial.com, it actually takes you to the 3rd link on the left navigation list (URL: http://livingsocial.com/deals/how_it_works). Why? Why tell me how it works? I’m already signed in, I’ve already bought a deal. Just show me today’s deal!
  • I still haven’t gotten my deal!

So what are we to do now? Well, I guess we’ll just wait and see what they follow up Amazon’s deal with. Today, LivingSocial has a European Restaurant in Brighton while Groupon has Indian and Nepal Cuisine in Somerville.

So what else is there?

Did anyone take advantage of the loophole? I wish I had known…

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One Response

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  1. kmtom said, on February 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I went home this past weekend and found a Groupon sitting on my parent’s computer desk. My mom had actually bought another deal (although not from LivingSocial). It was a $20 Barnes and Noble gift certificate for $10.


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