What a Deal!

People will buy anything if you tell them it’s 75% off. No offense; I am guilty of it too. I bought a tool kit the other day because it said it was 60% off – I don’t even know how to build things. It’s as if consumer desire to react to what is seemingly a great deal outweighs normal buyer evaluation, in which opportunity costs are identified and pros and cons are weighed out. This is why limited time deals are so cunningly effective, forcing us to satiate our craving for cheap stuff before the deadline hits. Groupon and LivingSocial have made a living off coupons, so to speak, and are taking advantage of the public’s penchant for steals by being the biggest innovators in the daily deal marketplace.

These online coupon providers are having such astounding success, and are moving into new venues accordingly. LivingSocial just launched a test for its new venture Instant Deals – a mobile feature that allows consumers to discover deals within a half-mile radius. These offers will compound the local search aspect with a much more limited deadline, encouraging immediate in-store traffic to businesses. Other companies, such as AT&T withShopAlert, are getting involved with mobile location-based special offerings (quite the mouth full) as well.

These new services underscore the rising importance of both location based and mobile marketing. Both of these services are constantly ranked the most promising new areas for the future, and adding the limited time deal facet intensifies the formula. Google rolled out mobile coupons a couple of years ago; a tool that is probably underutilized. The quality, one-deal-at-a-time nature of these specialized coupon providers creates a sort of aura that consumers can’t get enough of. It looks like they are successfully assisting in opening up a very promising market that has yet to be fully conquered.

– Kenneth Hurta