The Canadian publisher DirectWest has teamed up with VendAsta to enter the hot group buying space. The new service will be called Mysaskdeals, and it is reportedly the first of its kind in Saskatchewan.
“We are very excited about this new offering,” said Gord Farmer, DirectWest president and CEO. “For more than 50 years, DirectWest has been bringing buyers and sellers together by way of the SaskTel Phonebook and now we’ve taken it a step further by helping buyers obtain incredible deals and helping sellers obtain volume sales. It’s a win-win situation.”
Group buying or deal-a-day services (Groupon being the best known example) typically operate with a business offering a deal (e.g., 50 percent off a pedicure) and that deal kicks in when a minimum number of consumers agree to the deal, for which the consumer prepays. Most deal-a-day services take a commission on the deals in the 50 percent range. Businesses often treat the group deals as loss leaders to bring customers into their establishments with the hope that most consumers will buy more than the discounted offer.
Mysaskdeals hasn’t launched yet. Typically, these services accumulated consumers who sign up to receive offers, then when there are enough consumers in the cue to accept offers from local businesses, the service is turned on.
DirectWest is the main directory publisher in Saskatchewan. Its rival Yellow Pages Group, which is the leading publisher everywhere else in Canada, has also gotten into the deal-a-day space with its Red Flag Deals acquisition. South of the border, Yellowbook has entered group buying with its Weforia product, which is powered by Nimble Commerce. Weforia went live last week in Phoenix, Arizona.
Deal a day is seen by directory publishers as a good add-on to their product portfolio, particularly as it gives them an attractive offer for customers that might not otherwise be interested in Yellow Pages, notably retailers.
Here is a promotional video for the new service: