The deal market is an odd duck. It burst on to the scene with a great deal of fanfare and excitement then quickly faded as dozens of look-alike sites popped up on the web.
There have been reports that say the deal site is on the decline, but couponing is up, to the point where people say deals give them a thrill. Paypal is betting that deals are still good business, if you can find a new way to spin it.
PayPal President Scott Thompson says the company will be moving into the deal space in early 2012, but with a twist.
“The experience is going to be completely different than anyone else’s, through and through. We’ll only give you something that we think fits the category of unique and relevant. Everyone else is going to bombard you.”
I’m a fan of Paypal, but surely all of the other deal companies went into the space with the same raison d’être. Exciting! New! Just for you! Scan the space today and you’ll find the usual discounts on spa treatments, dental services and odd adventures.
Now here’s where Paypal has the advantage. They can use their “knowledge about customers’ preferences” to offer targeted deals. Does that mean they’ll be scanning my list of Paypal purchases in order to pick out the right deals for me? Being a coupon fanatic, I don’t mind, but I imagine there will be folks who object. It’s kind of like your local bank getting into the daily deal biz.
Paypal’s other advantage is the ability to go mobile. They want to send you offers as you walk by a partner store or restaurant. From a marketing standpoint, that’s power, especially when you note that Paypal has 103 million members.