Facebook Launches ‘Deals’

As social commerce has grown over the last few months through sites like Groupon and location based apps like Four Square and Gowalla, Facebook today dropped their bomb in the middle of all of this.

Facebook Deals launched today in beta and is only available in the US to those businesses who have claimed their ‘places’.

‘Deals’ offers local businesses the chance to launch four types of deal – one off, group, loyalty and charity and the opportunities it affords local businesses are growing customer loyalty, growing through WOM (word of mouth) and recruiting new customers.

Let’s look at each.

Growing Loyalty – A local retailer can create a deal whereby a discount can be claimed if a customer checks in between 2 and 20 times.

Growing through WOM – If the average facebook user has 130 friends, the hope is that a deal will viral through you fans network very quickly.

Acquiring new customers – with 200 million people using Facebook through their mobile device, an opportunity now exists to attract nearby potential customers to your store.

This all sounds great and the sheer size of Facebook means the potential is staggering for local businesses.

But just a few months after Twitter dropped their offers function, I guess Facebook are treading lightly.

A gamechanger? What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “Facebook Launches ‘Deals’

  1. Seems like a pretty basic use of social media to me. I like the charity function best. And I wish people would stop thinking that offering someone a discount for coming to their shop/cafe/whatever 20 times is ‘loyalty’. My husband is ‘loyal’ to the Giants having lived briefly and happily in San Francisco as a sports crazy child. He was almost in tears this week. Going back to the same place because you get a free coffee is opportunistic – but it’s not loyalty.

  2. I agree with you that this isn’t real loyalty at all, I think Facebook were looking for a label to place on that particular form of offer.

    It is also a natural extension of social commerce, but given the sheer scale of Facebook and their facilitation of this, I do think it’s a seismic shift in this area and offers local retailers big opportunities.

    Loyalty to a sports team is on quite a different planet though! Well done Giants – I hope he hasn’t been out looting!?!?

  3. This sort of technology could be what takes the local commerce ethos to the next level.

    Smaller businesses who have always understood “social” can now take the lead on consumer conversations while bigger brands continue to deliberate on what social means.

    As it looks like Twitter are testing “Business Location Claiming” http://mashable.com/2010/11/07/twitter-claim-locations/
    …maybe their offers functionality is about to get an overhaul?

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