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Friday, 10 May 2013 12:01
Comment: Barclaycard daily deals – a great idea, but hasn’t someone thought of this already?
Barclaycard has said that it wants to save customers from “offer fatigue” with its own daily deals service. Critics on the other hand argue that it is offering nothing new and that its deals are very similar to those of Groupon and LivingSocial, the two leading daily deals companies.

On the other hand, it includes offers from a number of leading brands, including Tesco, House of Fraser, Shell, Odeon, British Airways and Starbucks among its 5,000 plus deals.

The differentiator, says Barclaycard, is that the data on customer spending habits it has gathered from its 28.8 million UK customers will enable it to bring a new level of personalisation to its deals with offers covering food, petrol, home entertainment and travel

Isn’t that already taking place? eBay, Amazon, Google, ebuyer.com and many, many others track the browsing and spending habits of their users to personalise offers.

The important part of that last sentence concerns the browsing habits as opposed to the buying habits. Search engines and comparison sites have the ability to hone in on a customer’s wishes. They can begin to interact with them very early in the customer journey. Less than 3% of web page visits result in a purchase. This is because a customer will visit multiple pages and sites, and may also shop in person before making a purchase. If a brand can identify the wish early enough, their own offering can be presented to the potential customer.

But Barclaycard sees customer behaviour from purchases. Isn’t this too late? We all know how annoying it is to be offered a product at a good price – after we have already bought one.

Barclaycard also concedes that a £15,000 spend across all eleven product categories in bespoke offers would be required to make the savings potential claimed by CEO Valerie Soranno-Keating of £2,200 a year.

If no one else had thought of it already, Barclaycard’s daily deals service would have been a really really good idea. Unfortunately they already have. It is difficult to see how they can carve out a niche in this crowded, already occupied space. Let’s hope they have the imagination and creativity to differentiate their product.

Groupon results
Incidentally, Groupon has reported first-quarter results ahead of market expectations.

Revenues in the first three months of the year came in at US$601.4m, up 7.5% on a year ago. Analysts had forecast revenues of US$590m.

The company believes there are still major opportunities for merchant-funded reward programmes, especially if they can be integrated with payments at the physical POS, and also with mobile payments, creating a frictionless experience for consumers. It is likely that this is yet another area that will be won or lost on the mobile device.