ILM East: LivingSocial Moves Forward … in a Flash

In two short years, LivingSocial has blossomed from a Facebook application development shop into a leading group buying platform in 230 markets and 12 countries. But the question du jour in deal a day isn’t “what have you done?” but “what’s next?” At ILM East, LivingSocial Chief Operating Officer Eric Eichmann mapped a diversified plan that includes instant deals, new verticals and increased segmentation.

LivingSocial is currently testing Instant Deals in its hometown of Washington, D.C. Flash sales are uploaded onto a mobile app and allow merchants to push specific goods or services in time-sensitive windows (e.g., “half off lunch for the next three hours”). Instant utilizes all four of the company’s “pillars of success”: local, mobile, social and commerce.

Eichmann shared social statistics that are particularly striking. For instance, during LivingSocial’s highly successful national deal with Amazon, 40 percent of purchases were a byproduct of link sharing. There were 185,000 shares on Facebook alone.

Moving forward, Eichmann and team think they can continue to leverage “discovery and surprise” to delight customers. Notably, this is manifesting itself  in Escapes, a higher-touch, more considered set of experiences that grow out of the company’s acquisition of Urban Escapes.

Also, look for LivingSocial to continue to segment deals geographically, burrowing into smaller districts and neighborhoods based on customer propensity to shop close to home. It’s already experimenting with sub-metro segmentation in markets such as D.C. and New York.

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