April 15, 2011
In typical flash sale fashion, the 2011 Daily Deal Summit was here for 24 hours and then it was gone. The sold out event took place in New York City on Wednesday, April 6th and was attended by a standing room-only crowd of deal and service providers, as well as students and professionals looking to get expert insight into the industry.
As an attendee and speaker, I had the good fortune to see the event from several perspectives, all of which exceeded expectations. The panels, the speakers and the overall vibe at the first Daily Deal Summit were positive and revitalizing. If one thing was for certain, it was that this industry isn’t going anywhere. Knowing that the space is still in its infancy, here are a few trends I observed throughout the day:
50% off Mojito Making and Salsa Dancing! That sounds like a great experience, right? If you said yes, then you’re already buying into the experiential twist on the daily deal space. This twist aims to go above and beyond a standard discount by trying to create a truly unique experience within a deal. By organizing deals like the one above, LivingSocial is trying to attract a different type of customer who isn’t simply interested in a cheap meal. A recent Thrillist Rewards’ take on the experiential deal was “A Strip and A Strip.” It starts with a NY strip steak and ends with a…well, you probably get the picture. Regardless of your experiences of choice, look for more deals like this to come to a website near you.
It’s no surprise that when asked where the future or the daily deal market lies, almost everyone agreed. Mobile. The emergence of applications like Groupon’s “Groupon Now” and LivingSocial’s “Walk-in Deals”, give merchants the ability to turn deals on or off in real time based on factors like time of day or how busy it is. This seems like a natural progression to ultimately help merchants get new customers in the door when things are slow and not at peak times when the line is already around the block. In my opinion, this is a great compliment to the existing industry with much more to come; however, I don’t see it as the end of the daily deal as we know it today.
As the number of deals offered on any given day teeters towards overwhelming, some deal providers are choosing to stand out by keeping it simple. For Philip James, that “simple” idea is wine. Lot18 provides customers with “Exclusive, unmatched deals on the finest premium wines.” No manicures or go karts here, but if you’re a wine aficionado, there’s a great chance you’ll always be interested in today’s deal as a Lot18 customer. Spas? Family-friendly events? I heard about all the different verticals throughout the Daily Deal Summit. If you can’t find a deal site for the vertical you like, maybe we just uncovered your next startup!
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