One of the growing trends we’re seeing in mobile shopping is “group deals” – this is a model where a mobile coupon becomes available as soon as enough people become interested in it (more details after the break). Today, mobile location company WHERE has announced that it is buying into this market through the acquisition of a company called LocalGinger.
Who are the players here?
WHERE, Inc. is a location-based services company. Initially it just provided an internet search engine that provided local results for your searches. But it has been showing an increasing interest in mobile technology, and the purchase of LocalGinger is a symptom of that interest.
LocalGinger is what might best be called a “group-buying” company, following much the same model as companies like Groupon. The way it works is this:
• A brand or retailer puts a “daily deal” up on the LocalGinger platform
• If enough LocalGinger users register their interest in that deal, a coupon is sent to everyone who registered (the company sets the minimum number of registrations needed)
• Those coupons can now be redeemed in the store for the rest of the day
It’s somewhat different from the Groupon system, in that Groupon only hosts one coupon per day per local area – but it’s usually a really good deal. LocalGinger instead offers multiple retailers the chance to host their own (probably smaller) coupons. LocalGiner has been building a white label service, allowing their client enterprises to run their own daily deals.
What we think?
WHERE has been a busy little bee this year. It launched its own mobile location-based advertising platform earlier this year, WHERE Ads, and last week announced that it had signed its 100th partner on to that platform. It seems that WHERE is quite wholeheartedly putting a lot of its faith in the mobile platform. I can’t blame them – it does look like mobile is the natural home for the evolution of location-based services. But it also allows for a cross-pollination between the different mobile services that WHERE now has. The company itself proposes that by coupling WHERE Ads with the LocalGinger it will be able to offer an unprecedented double-whammy to local retailers: the ability to place a locally-targeted ad that also contains a “click to action” for the daily deal.