Facebook Offers rolls out in Asia, gives daily deal sites a run for their money
April 15, 2012 by Terence LEE
Facebook has launched a feature that allows users to get special deals from merchants within the social network.
The deals will appear on their news feeds, and after claiming a deal, an email will be sent to the user. The deal can then be redeemed by flashing the email at a store.
All business will eventually be able to create their own deals by clicking the ‘offer’ button at the top of their Facebook Page Timeline.
Barring a backlash from users, Facebook Offers will give group buying sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and Deal.com.sg a run for their money by replacing them as the middlemen between merchants and consumers, and an improved one.
For consumers, redeeming a deal on Facebook will be more convenient at times, since they won’t need to leave the social network. For merchants, it has a greater potential for virality, since sharing about the deal is easier.
Not only that, while merchants often have to split revenues with daily deal sites they engage with, Facebook Offers is slated to be completely free. That alone is a huge competitive advantage.
What remains to be determined is how much business Facebook can snatch from the incumbents.
For now, daily deal sites have an advantage on the mobile arena for the near term. That’s because using a daily deal app to hunt for special offers is an infinitely better experience than redeeming them through Facebook’s bloated mobile app.
Granted, conversion rates for deals on Facebook Offers could be much lower than those hosted on daily deal sites, since users won’t be actively seeking a discount when checking their friend’s updates.
But that may not matter to the merchant since no costs are involved in putting up a deal. They just have to make sure their ads don’t irritate the user too much.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.
About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE