ILM:10: Deals as an ‘E Commerce Platform’

In the context of Google’s reported $6 billion acquisition offer to Groupon, questions were raised at ILM:10 about the true potential of Deal a Day beyond its current two or three daily deals and banner ad emails. For Nimble Commerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi, the real potential is moving local advertising into performance based models.

“Group buying is just one model,” says Nedungadi. “There are lots of interesting kinds of models. We haven’t event gotten into search, or Yellow Pages. Imagine if it was part of the search experience. That’s what we’re excited about.”

Ultimately, Nedungadi adds, “we want to establish a strong relationship with consumers. At the end of the day, it is an ecommerce platform.”

Later, during another segment of The Deal a Day Superforum, 8Coupons.com CEO Landy Ung suggested another model is to provide featured listings. The site currently lists 1,000 deals a day. Some of the deal a day sites are providing aggregators like 8Coupons commissions of 10-35 percent. In that context, the real value lies in having offers discovered. They’ll pay more to be a featured listing on the top of curated categories, says Ung. “Our partners are asking us to optimize at the top. It is a whole new business model we haven’t tapped into.”

During the same session, The Deal Map‘s Jennifer Dulski noted there may be additional opportunities with mobile ecommerce. Fifty percent of The Deal Map’s usage is currently mobile, although only four percent of deals providers currently have mobile capabilities. That is bound to grow quickly, says Dulski, but more work needs to be done to ensure smooth transaction capabilities for not only online apps, but offline goods.

“The mobile transaction flow is very, very clunky,” says Dulski. The goal is to get to one click. The problem is that “Apple won’t use in app for anything other than virtual good. I predict they’ll change that within a year.”