Group discount madness hits New Zealand media organisations

Websites that offer special deals are nothing new to kiwis – sites like 1-day.co.nz have been around for a long time – but recently there’s been something of a launch frenzy as our biggest media organisations move into this space.

Since September a gaggle of new sites and partnerships have been announced, most of them based on the successful Groupon.com model out of the states. (Hold the front page – look who just announced their entrance into the Australian market – http://www.adnews.com.au/news/groupon-launches-down-under).

Here’s a bit of a run down on the new trend that’s sweeping New Zealand’s media scene (and which may eventually sweep New Zealand’s consumers).

Which brands are we talking about?

The main players are Grabone.co.nz, Groupy.co.nz and Cudo.co.nz

How do they work?

If you are a consumer, you sign up to get notified about daily deals on local products and services.  If you like the look of a deal, you click buy.  As long as enough other people have also clicked buy, the deal will go through and you can complete your purchase.  If you are a business you negotiate a deal and promotional schedule with the owners that they can then send out to their databases.  It could be seen as a great way of getting rid of excess stock or something of a new sales channel.

Who is behind the sites?

Grabone.co.nz, launched in September last year is a joint venture between APN and Shane Bradley.  Groupy.co.nz was recently bought and relaunched by Yellow Group who can leverage their extensive contacts with service and product suppliers.  The most recently announced site Cudo.co.nz is an interesting mix.  It’s a local spin off of an Australian venture owned by PBL Media and Microsoft.  The local promotional partner for Cudo.co.nz will be MediaWorks.  While MediaWorks are not part of the PBL family (ACP Magazines and MSN.co.nz are) they are able to add broadcasting to the promotional mix for Cudo.co.nz.   Carly Flynn (former Sunrise host) will front adverts for the daily deals which are likely to be promoted across television, radio and the web.

What’s on offer?

Typical deals seem to cover large discounts (50 to 60%) off the price of entry to attractions and specials at restaurants etc.  At time of writing Grabone.co.nz has 60% off the price of entry to Auckland’s Snowplanet and 58% off the cost of two Brazilian waxes in Taranaki.  Groupy is offering half price meal deals at the Hilton’s White restaurant and half price tickets for the Wellington Comedy Carnival.  Cudo’s NZ site has yet to launch but e-mails from their Australian website in recent days have offered half price golf equipment and cheap dinners at Chimy’s restaurant in Melbourne.

And the numbers?

Obviously these sites are going to need fairly large numbers of subscribers to attract businesses.  None of the sites are listed on Nielsen Netratings so we can’t provide audited visitor data.  However in popularity terms it seems Grabone has a good headstart with 74,427 Facebook fans compared to Groupy’s 3,355.  Cudo has yet to launch but you can pre-register on their site now if you so wish.

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