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L’asso restaurant to distribute mobile deals via new PeopleDeals serviceBy
New York-based Italian restaurant L’asso will distribute mobile deals to consumers via a new service dubbed PeopleDeals, choosing the platform over Groupon to avoid having to share revenue.
The service allows L’asso to create customized deals and determine how long they will be available. What is unique about PeopleDeals is its shareITUp feature, which offers deals that grow in value as they are shared through social networks, email or text messaging.
“Our deals are very different, instead of pre-buying an offer it goes up in value when you share it,” said Darin Myman, president and CEO of PeopleString, Red Bank, NJ. “It is pretty different and very cool.”
The PeopleDeals platform will be available on the iPhone and Android operating systems in the coming weeks.
L’asso’s owner was approached by Groupon, but the restaurant was not interested because it did not want to share revenue. It eats too much into the business’s profits.
Instead, L’asso wanted to increase its lunchtime business. So it will soon be running a deal that lets consumers get $1 to $4 off of the lunch check if they share it with four people.
Users who share the discount via PeopleDeals’ shareItUp button increase the value of the coupon for themselves as well as every other user who did so before them.
Users can currently share deals through Facebook, Twitter, PeopleString, MySpace, Blogger, TypePad, LiveJournal, Delicious, SMS or email.
L’asso’s was able to decide beforehand at what price or redemption level it wanted to cap the offer to ensure profitability.
Merchants can offer several deals at once for no additional charge.
PeopleDeals is currently available online, with Android and iPhone apps coming soon
Completely free-of-charge to consumers, PeopleDeals’ charges a flat-fee to business owners, $80 per month or $649 annually.
With a flat rate, business owners are not tied into a contract or share their revenue with a third party.
To help drive online distribution, PeopleDeals has partnered with toolbar and app marketing company, ALOT.com.
The company will feature a specially designed PeopleDeals app on its site and promote the app to its users.
PeopleDeals exists as a stand-alone Web portal and Facebook application and the platform incorporates multiple layers of geolocation technology.
“In our market research we found two things: every small business we talked to had problems spending money on a Valpak or coupon books,” Mr. Myman said. “The other side was shocked about sharing revenue with Groupon.
“With Groupon, you have a new partner in your business and you’re sharing a huge piece of your revenue,” he said.
People are attached to their mobile device and use it in every aspect of their lives—including where to find the best deals.
Behemoth companies and mom-and-pop shops are responding to the demand to make their business more accessible to this growing market.
“I see it headed to a point where you are walking through the mall and can turn to your mobile device to find the best deals there,” Mr. Myman said. “People are opting in to being notified.”
Mackenzie Allison is associate reporter at Mobile Commerce Daily
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