SalesVote Brings User Competition To Groupon Style Website [Interview With CEO Zak Kidd]

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with SalesVote CEO Zak Kidd about his new website and I was immediately impressed with his sites “social gaming” aspects that combine Groupon type buying with user based competition.

Located at the site operates by offering three different local deals at one time. Users, just as they would on LivingSocial, AmazonLocal, Groupon and other social shopping websites are offered deep discounts on products which can be purchased through the platform, the company than takes user interaction one big step further, allowing the first 10 buyers of each product to become “ambassadors” for the program, as they spread the word about the deal they have purchased they are engaged in a social game, if their deal ends up with the most buys they receive cold hard cash for their efforts. Furthermore, the winning sale (the one with the most purchases) is discounted further, for example your 50% off deal may become worth 60% off.

For businesses the platform is a no-brainer since SalesVote eats the cost for the discounts and the money paid out to ambassadors, while their platform not only encourages social media sharing, it literally pays people to do so.

I spoke with Zak about the program and asked him about his vision for Sales Vote to which he responded:

We understand that there are a lot of companies chasing the success of LivingSocial and Groupon. But the way to succeed in this market is to offer a really different solution to the problem that so many local businesses have–bringing new people into their doors. So we are combing two very successful themes into one entitiy: competitive games and discounted deals.

Our vision is based off of knowing that if you take 1000 people, some of those people will be what Malcolm Gladwell describes as “connectors.” But there is absolutely no company out there that treats these 10% of folks who really influence others differently. All these programs, from FaceBook Deals to Groupon to Living Social, are all about large scale deal distribution without having a way to capture and cultivate the highly social people within any large group.

Our thesis is that we can use deals to attract large number of people and then have a structured approach to attract people who are big time influencers–those people are our ambassadors. So we have a small segment of our users who become Ambassadors and talk about the value of the business to others–they really are not selling anything, because when they are talking about a business there is a highly discounted deal. So it’s more like notification than salesmanship. We think this way to use deals to attract large numbers of people and then to have Ambassadors promote those deals too, is a way to attract very loyal and highly social people to a business.

Zak also broke down the current ambassador loyalty program in easy to understand terms:

Anyone can become an Ambassador, but you can only be an Ambassador for one deal at a time. This prevents you hedging your bets. Right now, the first 10 people of any deal become Ambassadors. And if the deal receives the most purchases, wins the SalesVote, than those Ambassadors recive 5% of the total sales for the deal back as cash. Not credit, but real cash.

He also mentioned that the company is currently launched in the Washington DC area and that they are based in Georgetown’s Waterfront.

I could continue to explain the company’s structure but thankfully they have provided us with an awesome video that describes how their platform works so here it is:

SalesVote from Zak Kidd on Vimeo.

James Kosur

James Kosur has worked in the new media space for the last 10 years, helping many publications build their audiences to millions of monthly readers. He currently serves as the Director of Business Development at and the CEO of Aven Enterprises LLC.


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