Last week, the latest spree of entrants forayed into the deal-a-day arena, with AT&T and The New York Times announcing group buying platforms that appear to be almost identical to those popularized by Groupon and LivingSocial. The most interesting of the newcomers, however, could be Microsoft Bing, which opted for an aggregated approach through The Dealmap’s DealExchange for its Web and mobile properties.
Rather than dedicating resources against selling deals itself, Bing will instead rely on the network to source locally targeted offers from more than 300 group buying channels that open up their content to DealExchange. CityGrid Media, Local.com and SuperMedia are among the growling list (now 36) of publisher/distribution partners.
Leading search engines and portals have used different strategies to jump into group commerce. But this much is certain: They all feel the urge to play. AOL (through WOW) and Google set up their own deals platforms, while Yahoo opted for an aggregated network initiative through Tippr that resembles Bing.
As noted above, Bing mobile is also included, reinforcing what The Dealmap’s Jennifer Dulski told BIA/Kelsey at ILM West — that mobile and social commerce would make for a potent combination. Dulski noted that half the site’s usage already comes from mobile devices.
The enthusiasm over deals is well-founded, with BIA/Kelsey projecting that domestic revenues could touch nearly $4 billion by 2015, at a 35 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
As the market becomes increasingly fragmented, aggregators will play a central role in both organization and distribution. DealExchange positions The Dealmap particularly well to strike partnerships, especially with the functionality it provides for the deals being sourced — location, price, sentiment and time (all part of its “relevance algorithm”).