Social selling sites, especially Groupon are growing at break-neck speeds. A related business model is that of social selling aggregators . There are already deal aggregators such as Dealflakes. But I’m talking of a more personalized and customized social deal aggregator. Here’s what it would look like:
For an individual social selling company such as Livingsocial or Groupon, switching cost for customers is pretty low. Customers are fickle and only care about a good deal, not where it comes from. Whether I get a good deal from Groupon or LivingSocial, I don’t really care. And it’s very easy for me to switch. All I have to do is sign up for both of these services and I get 2 good deals a day in my inbox and I can pick the one (if any) that’s of interest to me. Additionally, I already get frequent coupons from stores of interest to me, such as Borders, or Babies R Us. However, my problem is that my Inbox gets cluttered and it is not easy to track all my deals and coupons.
A social deal aggregator can integrate all my deals, and provide me a consolidated view of my deals both from sites like Groupon as well as from stores of interest to me, such as Borders. It can categorize deals based on areas of interest such as Restaurants/ Books/ Entertainment/ Travel. It can let me filter by price or brand or even attributes such as Mail-in Rebate (which I prefer to avoid).
A solid recommendation engine would add a lot of value to the deal aggregator. So if I’ve signed up for deals from Babies R Us, it can recommend deals from Target for baby products. Or if I’m interested in deals from a local retailer, it could recommend even better deals from a similar business but located a little bit away, if I’m willing to take the trouble. The recommendation engine, while providing deal information relevant to customers, could also double up as a revenue source for the aggregator.
I found that Dealgator has a similar concept as outlined above. It does lack some useful features, such as the recommendation engine. Its categories are also not as granular as I’d like, resulting in a clutter of unnecessary deals. But it’s only a question of time before either they or someone else provides the full experience.