Facebook and Yelp Deals Succumb Before Really Getting Started

By September 21, 2011

A few weeks ago Facebook and Yelp both pulled their daily deal offerings. In an era where everyone seems to be getting in on the daily deal brigade, unless there is something significantly different, we may simply have too many options.

It’s fair to assume that Groupon and LivingSocial are two of the biggest daily deal sites. One reason why I think Facebook and Yelp pulled so early was the over-saturated market. In other word, there’s too many similar deals for consumers to choose from and way too many emails coming in.

Yelp is a great way to navigate new restaurants, bars and yoga studios reviewed by other consumers. Why would you need a Yelp-centric deal when you can get an email from Groupon and check the reviews before purchasing? Had Yelp done something like having the highest rated or most reviewed businesses offering deals, I think it would have been more successful, but not a long-term plan. After announcing its daily deals downsize, Yelp’s CEO posted on its blog that they were offering businesses a chance to post their own deals — partially because participating in a deal through a service doesn’t always result in high ROIs.

For a Facebook user  who has never accepted a Mafia Wars, Farmville or Bejeweled invite, I don’t want to use Facebook Credits for anything. It seems like using fake money for an actual, tangible service. And like with Yelp, if they integrated offering deals for the most liked businesses or bars with the most check-ins via Facebook location, some success could have come for the different ways to get deals.

A CNN Money article stated that Facebook will keep deals that pop up when people check-in but the bulk buy would be eliminated. The article also states that the more deals are offered, the less gross income is generated. Could this mean too much of a good thing?

I’ve been a Groupon user for well over a year and how many have I bought? Two. Mainly because I no longer live in the Chicago area, or anywhere close to the major metropolitan areas deals are offered. On the rare occasion that a deal is more nationally based, like the last Old Navy deal, it becomes more relevant for me to pay attention to those daily emails. Even in Quincy, IL, the friendly cashier said they had several customers bringing it in for use.

I think the market for daily deals is going to move much more into niche markets. A lot of daily deals and deal aggregators have been featured here before, including doggyloot, YouCeleb and DailyDAC. As the playing field levels out a little more over the next few years, these more niche groups will find their rhythm and more ways to offer what Groupon and LivingSocial potentially cannot.