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Deal Sites Launched By MouthShut, IndyaRocks; Suggestions

Maybe we should be kicking ourselves for not registering DealNama.com…it’s been registered by Rediff; more deal sites have cropped up over the last few weeks – the latest entrants include user review portal MouthShut and online social network Indyarocks. While MouthShut chooses to call its deals site DealFace, Indyarocks calls it DealYantra.

DealFace currently offers deals limited to the city of Mumbai. However, it plans to expand to more regions by December 2011. Current deals include discount offers at Spas, dance classes, car wash and others. The site works more or less on the same principle of group buying, wherein the merchant gives a discount when a minimum number of customers opt for a deal. Unlike a lot of deals sites that let users book deals by paying a token amount, and making the remaining payment at the merchant, this one (at least for the current set of deals) makes them pay the complete amount online, sending deal vouchers via SMS or e-mail.

DealYantra offers deals in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. There are some deals which can be booked by users from all parts of the country. Again, the site features spa deals, tattoo deals, and restaurant deals. DealYantra takes a part payment from users on the site and the remaining needs to be paid to the merchant. The site, to get more users has promised to offer the first deal free of charge. However, when we tried to get our free deal, we discovered that the free clause applies only to the online part payment and not for the entire deal. Take for example, a foot spa deal, where in the user gets a spa treatment at Rs 249 instead of Rs 750, when he pays Rs 49 online and Rs 200 at the merchant. If this happens to be a user’s first deal he is exempted from paying Rs 49 on the site, but will have to shell out Rs 200 at the merchant. So technically, the deal is not free. Oh, and we noticed that DealYantra uses ZipDial’s missed call based mobile number verification.

Suggestions

Differentiation will come by way of the quality of deals offered, but what else can deal sites do?

– Deals from big brands – To be honest, most deals sites look like the classified flyer pages that come as inserts with newspapers. Each player claims to have deals from leading brands. Sadly, we have not been able to spot them as yet, barring a few occasions. A lot of people feel deals sites are about being local. We don’t have a problem with that, just with claims.

– Lucrative payment options such as Cash-on-Delivery – Offering payment options like Cash on Delivery helps in reaching out to the maximum number of people.Remember, not many people are comfortable using their credit cards online. And we don’t even want to start talking about the plight of payment gateways in India.

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– Get rid of paper vouchers – It’s high time, deal sites, like movie ticketing sites, let customers use voucher codes at merchants, instead of instructing them to take print outs of vouchers.

– More reach – Rediff’s deals site covers a lot of tier 2 and 3 cities. Don’t restrict yourself to the metros, there is a big market waiting to be tapped in non-metro cities. Again, don’t list cities and offer online e-commerce deals, as well.

Related:
Indiatimes Launches A Second Deals Site – TimesDeal; An Analysis
Rediff Launches Daily Deals; Offers Cash On Delivery For Deal Coupons
– Infibeam Launches Magic Box; Who Hasn’t Launched Daily Deals Yet?
– GroupOn Looking For Affiliates In India; Competitor Launches GroupOn.in
– eBay India Launches Social Shopping
– Indiatimes Updates Active Deals; Not Working For Us
– Updated: GroupOn Enters India By Acquiring SoSasta.com: Report

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