The daily deals business has gone supernova in the past year, but online deals actually aren't all that new.
But the industry has changed much since then — the amount of competition is larger than ever and new technologies continue to alter the landscape with each year that goes by.
So what's it take to keep up with the times? There's plenty of adapting to do, but there's one piece of the puzzle that no deals provider must never forget: the customer.
"The hardest part is about keeping the audience engaged and continuing to grow the audience, " he says. "I think you start realizing that the most important thing is making the customers really happy. You want to surprise them and you want them to like you. When they open up the email every morning – or every other morning or when the deal’s relevant and it comes up – you want them to be excited."
Here's the full interview with Ambrose (edited for clarity and length):
How has mobile tech changed the landscape in the deals and local commerce space?
The daily deals business is about three years old. And I don’t think a lot of people realize that – they may think it’s many years older in terms of offering coupons.
For the most part, the mechanism in which consumers receive a deal is through email, and there are a few tenets of the model that are really important. The quality of the deal has to be really high. It can’t be a deal that gives five or ten dollars off – the value has to be there. And if it’s not there, the core metrics of the business will go down – your open rates and your click through rates – will get smaller over time. This means you won’t be able to push more deals through the channel where most of the business over the past few years was built.
We don’t publish every day. It could be every other day or just whenever there’s a really great deal we’ll publish through local at Travelzoo. So when people talk about daily deals, it’s interesting. If you offer a deal every day, it would be surprising if the quality of those deals goes down over time, because it’s so much work and so much effort to go out and structure and negotiate a package. I think that, for us, it’s more about the value and not the frequency of those deals.
So with that being said, you have to figure out how to keep your consumers engaged and with you at all times – and that’s basically found in the pocket. I think we’re seeing mobile has a few useful factors.
And so why does mobile matter for Travelzoo?
TravelzooHere's a look at Travelzoo's new mobile appThe growth trajectory that we’re seeing on mobile is quite exciting to us. We’re excited about the possibilities there. We’re really focusing on the best experience possible for the subscriber. The reason that is important is that right now when people come to Travelzoo, the core product is called the Top 20, which is published every Wednesday. And that’s what the company started out with basically. Those are the best 20 deals in terms of travel and entertainment.
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