Monthly Archives: February 2015

In quest of innovative daily deals


Why should I spend a fortune on sales that are one-off is a common argument merchants put in when pitched by daily deal companies or couponing websites?

“No thanks, I tell them. We’re guaranteed to lose money on sales to customers we’ll probably never see again,” Mike Scotese, a Philadelphian retailer, tells CNBC.

This is not just an apprehension retailers harbor in relation to the daily deals or specials that make them sell out half off or more, but an issue that is assuming highest proportion as the numbers of Groupon’s imitators are cropping up from all sides.

Be they hoteliers, restaurateurs, masseurs, travelling agents, or goods sellers, all are unanimous on one point that their hot deals remain unable to hook up new line of bargain hunters for a long term.

Discount seekers land on to grab best deals and promise to return only when a similar kind of deals pop up in future.

Groupon’s clones claim that each deal of the day is viewed by such and such millions of users and subscription list is a highlighted attraction by them.

It is not customers you reach but how you retain them does matter for businesses, said critics. Groupon’s 140 million users and LivingSocial’s 46 million followers pale into insignificance if they are devoid of brand loyalty in the end. And, in this way price cuts lead to a onetime bounty.

A need of change in social couponing is now being felt deeply with few of daily deal sites already initiating add-ons in the fledging group buying and time-honored reward services.

Experts call for innovation to encourage businesses to ring up B2C sales through discount promotions.

Recently introduced daily deal websites are paying heed to the advice that can redress a longstanding complain of merchants.

Reward programs by LevelUp and incentives by MOGL, both of them are deal service providers, go on with building durable business-customer relations.

Primarily, LevelUp operating in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco went on to promote three deals in a bid to stir up repeat business.

Later on, the daily deal site wielded an effectual change wherein instead of introducing steep discounts upfront, it supplied small ones in the beginning and then perpetual rewards on future purchases.

Did it work? According to its introducer, the model led to 45 per cent repeat customers in a pretty much amazing contrast to one per cent that Groupon was said to deliver.

Innovatively, a reward service provider MOGL bring forward three distinguishable incentives for the line of new and old bargain seekers. Cash back, gift hampers, and community service publicized to be associated with each purchase happen to foster long business-customers affinities.

Viable changes in the traditional couponing approach are essential to doll up its attractions. Above all, discount promotions can create only ephemeral buying process with no spillover effect.

Transition in customer buying pattern has to be kept under consideration. Numbers of online shoppers have scaled up 39 per cent to 870 million, as per the latest stats by Nielsen.


Tariq Saeedi is a couponing industry’s analyst holding journalism and marketing degrees and contributing articles to digital and print media. Visit for daily deals , hot deals.

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Holiday sales: daily deals abound

Spending abounds as holiday season catches the speed. Online shoppers comb through hot deals in their towns for event tickets, gifts, knick-knacks, or delicious meals as they know daily deals are the right choice for them to buy products at below market prices. Exciting customers also line up at retail stores to grab the holiday bargains.

At least, internet retailers are ringing up the cheers of shoppers this holiday season. ComScore, a leading digital world researcher, has recorded nine billion dollars sales in first 20 days of November and forecast the figures would grow to $ 37 billion for an entire holiday season (November and December).

Will consumers continue to look for price advantage? Majority of experts are of the view that price factor will remain a main determinant of buying decision. Best deals are what actually bargain hunters are looking for desperately.

Whether they are craving for scrumptious turkeys, mouthwatering burritos, holiday traveling, contemporary cloths, or trinkets, daily deal websites and flash sales are point of focus of online buyers.

Studies have substantiated the savings prone sentiments of consumers with the help of various surveys. Some of these surveys have an expansive universe with broad sample sizes that attest to their pervasiveness.

In a nutshell, they all pointed out the ballooning numbers of shoppers seeking out discount promotions on couponing websites as well as coveted daily deals back in their email inboxes.

The deals carry up to 90 per cent discounts on a diverse range of goods and services. Such huge discounts fill in customers insatiable desires for savings.

Is this good ethically? Skeptics argue quirky discounts cajole shoppers into unnecessary shopping. Marketing driven sale is not always in favor of consumers. On the other hand, opponents bring into play buying wisdom of shoppers so that customers can make purchase what they feel urge of.

Cases of bogus discounts have been reported. However, regulators are tightening noose around the scammers. Most importantly, buyers can compare social coupons with the market prices.

Microsoft does not find it suitable for retailers to come under trance of discounts-driven bulk sale.

Excessive discounts can lead to economies of scale advantage at the cost of non-discounted brands, Joanna L. Krotz wrote in a blog titled “5 mistakes that could ruin your holiday sales”.

Close-fistedness in relation to advertising, targeting niches, ignoring replies, and overlooking last adopters were other issues that might let retailers miss opportunities popping up during the holiday season, suggested the blog.

There is a need to explain some of the points here. Considering targeting niches as a mistake, the writer advised discount promotions should be tailor-made for target market across the board.

Web analytics and dashboard make one aware of buying trends thereby allowing required changes in case of slowdown in sale. Usage records are the effective means of knowing market response to a particular offer.

There is no denying the fact that last minute shoppers come in droves and merchants risk shooing them away if deals are sold out.

A balancing approach is essential to ring up holiday sales. 


Tariq Saeedi is a couponing industry’s analyst holding journalism and marketing degrees and contributing articles to digital and print media. Visit for daily deals , hot deals.

Desi Tribune Usa Daily Usa News Updates No 1

Sonia and Mr. Q, the Bofors man

Exactly a fortnight ago, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi had unveiled a four-point action plan to intensify the battle against corruption. The time to act has come now. Addressing the Congress plenary session on Dec 20, 2010, a Monday, Sonia Gandhi had promised fast-tracking all cases of corruption involving public servants. And as an aside, she had said that this included politicians, including herself. Her other promise: “full transparency” in public procurement and contracts. Now that the Bofors has risen like a ghost again, it is time for the Congress party president to ‘fast track’ this case and ensure ‘full transparency in public Procurement and contracts.’ The more Sonia and her men like Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi try to bury the Bofors kickback scam, the more it raises its hood to remind everyone of a scandal that had the late Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian friend Ottavio Quattrocchi in the firing line. On Jan 3, 2011, another Monday, the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) held that kickbacks were paid to the late Win Chadha and Quattrocchi in the Bofors gun deal and they were liable to pay tax in India on such income.

This is the first official acknowledgment that money changed hands in the Bofors deal. The tribunal cited the CBI investigation, the agency’s charge sheet in the case, the JPC Report into the Bofors scam, the letters exchanged between the governments of India and Sweden, the report of the Swedish governments Audit Department SNAB and other material evidence to point out that kickbacks were indeed paid. This is the same case wherein the CBI had filed a closure report stating that tracing Quattrocchi or trying for his arrest was impossible. As BJP MP Arun Jaitley pointed out: “Clearly the entire fraud perpetrated on the country by the CBI at the behest of political masters in the Congress stands unravelled.” Mr. Q was known to be close to the Gandhi family and had managed to flee India in 1993 even as a CBI case was filed on kickbacks in the Bofors deal. So, will Sonia Gandhi set an example by fast-tracking the Rs 64 cr kickbacks received in the purchase of 400 155-mm howitzers from Swedish firm AB Bofors? Will she pursue the truth instead of pointing fingers at Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa (not that the ‘do biga zameen’ man is Lilly white)? Will the Congress party president bring full transparency to the contract that shamed the nation and the armed forces? Jaitley has a point when he said: “the (IT) order has come as a timely reminder for Sonia Gandhi that the country does not need four points to fight corruption. Only one point is enough and sufficient to fight corruption….Start sending those guilty of corruption to jail. Itll act as a deterrent…Do not cover up.” Will the Congress president pursue the money stashed in Swiss banks? The time to act has come right at the beginning of a new year.

50 per cent garbage collection trucks deployed to clear snow

Garbage is the new snow in New York City. Bags of trash tower on the sidewalks outside apartment buildings, while garbage cans left buried since the city’s last pickup, on Christmas Eve, poke through dirty mounds of melting snow. New Yorkers still cursing City Hall for seldom-seen plows after the Christmas weekend snowstorm are transferring their ire to garbage trucks, which will make their first reappearances on Monday. Alternate-side parking rules will still be suspended.

But the Sanitation Department said it would resume residential garbage collection beginning Monday at 7 a.m. in only a limited fashion. We will have 50 percent of normal collection trucks out, said Keith W. Mellis, a department spokesman. We still have 50 percent of the trucks out for snow-clearing operations. Those who get regular Monday garbage collection, he said, should put their trash (including Christmas trees) outside, but not items to be recycled. Workers will collect the bags. Eventually. We will be behind, Mr. Mellis acknowledged. We’re going to be working on Monday’s material on Tuesday. As soon as we finish Monday’s, we’ll get to Tuesday’s. He added that he could not say exactly when trash would be collected because that depended on which districts needed more crews to remove snow. The lack of specifics left some city leaders fuming. It could mean too much garbage will end up being on our streets for too long, and the likelihood of rat and health issues arising will increase with each passing day, City Councilman James Vacca, a Bronx Democrat, said in an e-mail. If these problems occur, those who thought snow removal was problematic will have seen nothing yet. Most city residences have not had trash collected since Christmas Eve. Councilman Vincent Ignizio, a Republican from Staten Island, said in an e-mail that the trash problem was just the continuation of a poorly implemented snow-removal plan. In Astoria, Queens, several people walking on Broadway on Sunday morning registered their disgust. All the bags are ripping open, probably from the weight of the snow and other garbage bags piled on top, said Gretchen Strejc, 31, a chef. It’s warming out and it’s going to start intensifying the flavor of the bags. Health concerns aside, there was one instance on Sunday where piles of garbage might have saved someone’s life. In Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, residents were busily clearing paths for sanitation workers. At one six-story building on Greenwood Avenue, more than 40 bags were neatly tied and arranged on the sidewalk.

They are not going to climb over snow to get to our garbage, said Arlene Catapano, 54, a crossing guard. But that can-do attitude was the exception. Near Central Park North, Mohammad Taha, 26, standing outside 1295 Fifth Avenue, where bags formed a six-foot wall lining the sidewalk, was skeptical that sanitation workers would get to his building at the beginning of the week. It will be just like the snow, he said. God knows if they’re ever going to come.

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