There is a sea change under way that’s redefining one of the oldest retailing traditions: hawking the big sale.
Group buying sites, rewards-based shopping applications and social networks are redefining the art of the deal.
Consumers are being bombarded with new ways to shop for less, and it comes as little surprise.
The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has shaken up the nation’s consuming psyche, and somehow the old-school 20-percent off coupon and buy-one-get-one free promotion just don’t rise to the occasion in the current climate, when unemployment rates stubbornly hover around 10 percent and the housing market remains bleak.
Hence, new deal-offering platforms are having more than just a moment. Their emergence suggests a paradigm shift.
Groupon negotiates substantial discounts on retail, services and cultural events to subscribers in a free daily email, which are activated when a certain number of people agree to buy. A subscriber gets a big discount while the retailer taps into new customers.
While Groupon mostly partners with local merchants, national chains are now joining up, such as Nordstrom, which is a notable sign of the times, as discounting has traditionally been counter to the brand’s DNA.
In yet another expression of the new deal, retailers can also sign up with digital outlets such as Shopkick, a location-based smart phone shopping app, which rewards consumers with promotional offers simply for visiting stores.
Even Faceook is getting into the game.
These days, it’s not just about putting on one-day sales and offering coupons in the Sunday circular.
Are you taking part in the art of the new deal?