Facebook Launches Facebook Deals

 

 

Facebook DealsIt is here. The long awaited Facebook Deals has come to the United States. Originally launched in Europe, Facebook is now bringing Facebook Deals to Altlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco. You may remember that back in November 2010, that Facebook Places merchants starting offering deals once you checked in. These deals were solely and exclusively offered by the merchant themselves to individuals whereas with Facebook Deals the offerings are group style, going head to head with Groupon and Living Social.

Facebook Deals

Facebook Deals is social sharing as when you take advantage of a deal, you can easily share with your friends so they can also jump on the deal. The deals target activities you would engage in with friends, such as concerts and events so sharing them with your friends to get more to join you is where Facebook Deals hopes to set itself apart. It is natural for everyone to compare them with the others but with 600 million users and being a platform based upon friends sharing with friends (which we know sometimes more than we want to know is shared), it does seem the best suited platform for group deals.

Facebook Deals Features

At the time of this writing, Facebook Deals was first broke by the New York Times, then removed and then reposted. The features are not fully exposed and some are assumptions and speculations where others seem to be confirmed.

1. Receiving Deals. Deals are received either via email or in your news feed when friends share them. The emails are received when you Like the Facebook Deals page.

2. Facebook Credits. Facebook credits will be a viable option to purchase the deals as you will receive a voucher that is redeemable at the merchant. Users will also be able to purchase the deal with credit cards however as a big revenue stream, Facebook Credits will be the preferred payment; especially as it is the first non virtual offering from Facebook Credits. Should Paypal start to look over its shoulder? Probably not today but soon … too soon to tell but maybe.

3. Targeted. Targeted. Targeted. Facebook Deals is giving new meaning to Location.Location.Location in the sense of your business location matters when it coincides with their interests. Facebook data is the most coveted as far as targeted data and is available via Likes, Places so we can only expect that Facebook Deals will offer up the goods to the merchants. An extension and enhancement of the Facebook ads. Imagine as a retailer to offer a deal and then take the data of the buyers and target folks with similar interests in the same area with Facebook ads – can we get a cha ching for Facebook?

4. Free for Retailers. Facebook Deals in Europe is free for retailers. Will that carry over into the U.S.? Speculation is that it may according to Marshall Kirkpatrick on ReadWriteWeb.com. This is great news for smaller businesses. It is an opportunity to offer a deal without having to have the supplier take a cut. The bottom line matters for the retailer and offering a discount to customers that will patronize their establishment and be a paying customer is money in their pockets. When the supplier takes a cut it cuts into the bottom line for the small business owner. I fully support businesses making money but at the same time, the cut combined with the discount excludes many small businesses as the cost to offer the discount exceeds their profit margin.

Are Facebook Deals the Golden Ticket?

The golden ticket we all learned from the Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. You get that ticket, you had to prove yourself and then you got it all. Is Facebook Deals that golden ticket for retailers to bring in new customers or just those that want the deal? This is a struggle in couponing. If a retailer offers a discount, are they coming for the discount and not the true offering of the business itself? Are they willing to pay full price? Is the discount undercutting them and diminishing the value of their offering? Sometimes it is.

In some restaurants/specialty shops we see the special of the day. Do people come there for the special only or is that an added incentive? If I go to the local pizza palor on a Friday during Lent and there is a special on a cheese pizza, 3 cheese calzone and a cannoli, am I going there for the special or because I cannot go to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, etc because most of their offerings involve meat? If I had a freebie to go to a predominately meat serving establishment I would  not go. If I got a “you are paying full price” from the pizza palor, would I not go? Not sure but a part of me says, of course not as the need for a meat free meal needs to be satisfied and we do not always put a price tag on that type of need.

As a small business owner, is Facebook Deals enticing or something that you are not going be an early adopter of?

 

  • Wes

    If the deal vouchers exchange to facebook credits for the merchant, then their value is greatly diminished. In the developer credits tos it says that facebook takes 30% of credits redeemed for cash and also if they give out free credits, those can not be redeamed for cash. That would be like the government giving away specially marked dollars and saying that a business has to take them, but they are worthless.