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Snapdeal Finally Launches SMS Deals With A Telco: Tata DOCOMO

It’s exclusive for a limited period, but it’s a deal nonetheless: cellular service provider Tata DOCOMO has announced an exclusive limited period partnership with daily deals site Snapdeal, to launch ‘Deal Zone’.

The partnership allows Tata DOCOMO GSM subscribers to sign up for SMS alerts (by SMS’ing  to 53333) for deals on on products and services such as  restaurants, spas, electronic goods, fashion accessories, personal care products. Tata DOCOMO GSM subscribers can also get an additional discount of upto 15% off on all offers for services like restaurants , spas, entertainment etc and upto 2% off on  product categories  like Mobiles, Fashion and Electronics among others featured on the Snapdeal.com website.

Deal Zone identifies the offers available for the subscribers based on their location, automatically detected by the Snapdeal Deal Zone portal. Deal Zone is an auto-renewed service and subscribers will be charged Re 1 per day for the service.

How Long Is This Exclusive? Why This Deal Is Interesting

The duration of the exclusivity with Tata Docomo is also unclear, and we wonder if this exclusivity might prevent other telecom operators from launching Snapdeal deals, because these are typically seen as marketing opportunities by telcos – remember Airtel’s exclusive deal with Twitter that no one was interested in after Airtel’s marketing blitz? Despite repeated attempts, we didn’t hear back from Tata Docomo and Kunal Bahl, CEO Snapdeal.com, was unreachable.

This deal is particularly interesting because Musstbuy.com, a daily deals site from Y2CF, which has raised money from Bharti Softbank, has tied up with Bharti Airtel, is also in the process of expanding its telecom partnerships. Two questions remain:

– How many deal sites will a telecom operator partner with? Ideally, these services should be across telcos.
– With already plenty of spam SMS received daily and that’s despite TRAI’s SMS spam regulations, will customers sign up and actually pay for deal alerts?

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