Merchant Circle SMB Survey: 12% Have Used Deals

How many small businesses have done a deal at this point? 12 percent, according to a new survey of 2,500 SMBs by Merchant Circle. That’s about a third higher than Merchant Circle’s June survey. The survey also found a lot of Facebook ad usage. About 23 percent of local merchants report having tried Facebook Ads to date, which is … Read more

ILM West: Next Directions in Deals Space

It’s obvious that the deals business is going to quickly move to a broader set of offerings. But how? That was the question posed today at ILM West in San Francisco. Belo Interactive GM Joe Weir noted that deals remains a great space to be in. Demographics of Belo’s deals are dominated by college educated women … Read more

Living Social’s Experience Center to Debut

Following in the footsteps of major brands such as Apple, Nike, Harley Davidson and ESPN, Living Social is now seeking to enhance its core brand via a retail “experience” center where book clubs, cooking classes, painting classes and performances can all take place. The effort follows a trial of a Living Social membership program with … Read more

Payments 2013: New Payment Options Forcing Banks, Others to Change

Disruption happens. In the local space, we’re seeing it happen with Yellow Pages and newspapers. Banks are seeing it happen as well, which will cause a major change in the way that customers keep track of their money, buy goods and services and stay “loyal” to merchants. At NACHPA’s Payments 2013 in San Diego this week, speakers … Read more

Merchant Warehouse Moves Up Value Chain From Payments to ‘Engagement’

Payment processors and related companies work with most SMBs and are increasingly seen as a potential sales channel for reaching them with additional services. This week, we talked with one processor, Boston-based Merchant Warehouse, about its efforts to leverage its base of 75,000 business customers beyond terminal sales. CEO Henry Helgeson told us the 15 year-old, … Read more

Cartera: Local SMBs ‘Key’ to Growth of Loyalty Programs

Local businesses don’t have their own loyalty programs but can now benefit from tapping into bank programs. “Local is the key to our strategy,” says Jim Douglass, EVP at Cartera, a Lexington, Mass. company which manages loyalty programs for many top banks and credit card companies. Douglass sees five million SMBs potentially seeking to extend their … Read more

Groupon Rewards Rolls Out Nationally

Groupon Rewards — “the easiest rewards program in the world” — rolled out nationally this week after tests in 36 markets that began in October. The product is Groupon’s answer to the emerging “transaction marketing” space that many believe will be the natural successor to the daily deals business. BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces has counted more than 24 … Read more

The ‘Common Elements of Successful Promotions’

We’ve been focused so much on Deal a Day, that we sometimes forget that Deal a Day is just part of the mix when it comes to successful SMB promotions. Seth Gardenswartz of SpaBoom, a provider of promotion services for spas and restaurants, held a helpful Webinar last week that stressed the six “common elements of successful promotions.” … Read more

Rethinking Deals after Facebook and Yelp Pullbacks

Facebook and Yelp are downsizing their separate deals initiatives after launching them with some fanfare. Facebook is now limiting its deals to users that check-in to businesses; and Yelp is sharply reducing the number of deals that it features, while continuing to support self-serve efforts that are integrated with other Yelp ad products. Are these pullbacks a sign … Read more

Tippr’s Efforts to Enforce Patents Are Over

Tippr’s efforts to use patents that it had acquired to help persuade deals companies into forming partnerships appears to be over, at least for now. A federal patent lawsuit it brought in February against 14 companies – mostly competing white label deals providers — has ground to a halt, with all actions settled or dismissed … Read more