Even though Amazon has invested $175 million in LivingSocial that didn’t mean they weren’t going to prepare their own local deals site and that’s exactly what the company did this week, launching Amazon Local (https://local.amazon.com) which allows users to sign up to receive deals and browse the company’s new website for special offers.
The site operates in the same fashion we have come to expect from LivingSocial, Groupon and other social buying sites in which users much purchase the current deal before time runs out, typically within a 24 hour period. Users than redeem their discounts which typically range from 50% to 90% off at local retailers.
I took a quick look at a special offering running in Boise, Idaho (the only city to launch so far). The offer actually included two deals, one for 50% off and another for 53% off if I was willing to buy a slightly larger social coupon. The ability to tier products should sit well with Amazon customers as many individuals who use group buying platforms are trying a new product for the first time thanks to discounts and they may be more apt to choose a smaller buy if made available, while die-hard customers of a product can spend more for something they already love.
Here’s a screenshot of the Boise deal with tiered offerings:
Users receive deals for their area each day in their email which ensures you don’t miss a “must have” offer in your area, while a timer on the side of the page shows the time left for the purchase and the number of items bought. While the ice cream deals page didn’t have limits I assume some deals will require a certain number of buys or set maximum purchase numbers. Users also have access to a map so they can buy their deal, print out their voucher and take it too the store.
Speaking of vouchers, at this time everything is done through printed voucher which won’t do you any good if you are already out on the town. According to Amazon, when you are redeeming your buy:
The easiest way is to print your voucher and take it with you to the business. The business will verify the code printed on your voucher. Remember to check your voucher for redemption instructions, such as scheduling requirements, locations where it can be used, and expiration dates.
Amazon also offers 24/7 customer service through a toll-free number and with their trusted e-commerce status I’m sure transactions will move smoothly for most buyers.
While Boise is the only city to launch, Amazon promises in their FAQ section they they:
“Will quickly be expanding to other cities, but [they] liked the idea of starting in a city that embraces fun.”
Deals for Amazon Local are also being aggregated through LivingSocial.