When we sat down with RedFlagDeals founder Derek Szeto in July, he hinted that they were were working on a group buying site. Then we helped annouce in August that RedFlagDeals were entering the group buying industry with their own brand called Deal Of The Day.
This week, Deal Of The Day was finally launched. We caught up with Derek Szeto in Montreal on Friday to ask him about the industry and Deal Of The Day.
Everyone and their mother has created an online group buying site or coupon site. What is RedFlagDeal's advantage with Deal of the Day?
Yeah, you’re right. There’s tons of competition in both group buying and coupon and deals sites. We’ve fortunately been able to build a huge, dedicated, Canadian audience of at the core of RedFlagDeals.com and that core community is really what differentiates us from the other coupon and deal sites out there. For group buying, our advantage is the extension of that community and I can’t think of another sites that group buying is such a natural fit for.
Layer on top of that the reach of the Yellow Pages Group network, including Promodujour.LesPAC.com, where the French version of our group buying site lives, and there’s no other site that can match the exposure and value that we can bring. Just check the LesPAC.com, PagesJaunes.ca, and YellowPages.ca and you’ll see we’re featuring merchants prominently on the homepage of these giant sites!
Which group buying website would you say has done a great job in capturing the imagination of Canadian shoppers?
Definitely Groupon. They’re the originators of this whole generation of group buying sites and they’ve done a wonderful job in Canada and elsewhere. The experience, the marketing, and their sheer ability to grow has been very impressive. But I even remember back to the .com boom days with Mercata.com. I was a Mercata customer, I remember that I bought a DVD player when they were the hot new gadget. Microsoft was offering big ecommerce subsidies to use their Passport program and even with shipping costs to Canada it was an amazing deal.
What’s different this time is the whole focus on local retail which Canadians are much more comfortable with compared to traditional ecommerce. And when you start talking about local businesses, that’s where Yellow Pages Group’s experience working directly with merchants really shines.
How different will Deal Of The Day be from all the deals RedFlagDeals now offers on the website?
It’s still quite different actually. Deal Of The Day is another product for us that we’re adding to RedFlagDeals.com. We’ll continue to evolve and add new products and I assure you we’re not even close to done with what we want to offer through RedFlagDeals.com.
Is there a retail market that group buying sites have yet to take advantage of?
It’s still very early for the entire group buying segment so there’s many niches yet to fill. We’ve got a couple ideas cooking but we’re only 2 days into our launch so it’s a bit early to talk about next steps – we’re still learning.
In 2 years, there’s no way this segment is going to look anything like it does now. It’s moving too fast.