Citysearch is getting into the deals space, offering a mix of curated daily deals, coupons and other offers from providers such as Groupon, The Deal Map, Restaurant.com as well as from its own base of thousands of advertisers. CityGrid advertisers may also participate.
The service, similar to The Deal Map and 8Coupons, is mobile-oriented. It is launching with iPhone and Android versions. It will also be available on the Web, leveraging Citysearch’s 15 million monthly unique visitors.
“Deals by Citysearch” de-emphasizes the Citysearch brand, which is in small type. The idea is to avoid confusion with the core brand and its city guide and review offerings, says JP Bedoya, Senior Director, Product, Citysearch. He notes that the service has been in development for several months,and is built on top of the CityGrid API, which is soon receiving a major upgrade.
Users can personalize the menu for up to 15 favorite categories, and also set deals by proximity. Deals can be printed from the Web site, shown to merchants on phones, or printed out from iPhones using AirPrint – something that Bedoya says is much improved in its upcoming release.
Deals and offers from other providers are initially emphasized, with Citysearch receiving a piece of a piece of any action. But Bedoya anticipates that Citysearch will do very well when it begins to add offers to its ad offerings. Home grown advertisers can simply add the deals and offers to other advertising that they typically buy from the company on a flat fee, cost per click basis. “We are making it very simple, “ says Bedoya. He emphasizes that the company is putting deal quality above immediate revenue concerns.
CItysearch’s JP Bedoya is being featured on the SuperForum on Deals and Offers at ILM East, which takes place in Boston March 21-23.