Back in April, LivingSocial launched its Instant Deals product in Washington DC, where consumers bought up a slew of dollar lunches. This week, the company did the same in New York City.
LivingSocial Communications Director Marie Griffin told us a bit about the two launches, and what's planned. "LivingSocial is based in Washington, DC, so it was a no-brainer to launch the very first Instant Deals market and create the nation’s first-ever Dollar Lunch Day in our own backyard," she told WebProNews.
"New York City was a natural next step given the concentration of fabulous restaurants and the fact that so many New Yorkers travel by foot, or at least within walking distance, to grab lunch," she added.
LivingSocial has quickly risen up to give Groupon, the leader in the deals space a run for its money, while other big players like Facebook and Google are slowly emerging upon the scene. Still, a survey from MerchantCircle this week found that most merchants indicated they'd be more likely to go with offerings from Facebook and Google than other competitors due to audience size and brand familiarity.
I doubt this poses much of a threat to LivingSocial, however, as it's already been doing a pretty good job of building its own brand, and is also getting some extra love from another big and trusted brand in Amazon, who is an investor in the company, and has already included LivingSocial in its own Amazon Local deals offering.
The Instant Deals are already a big hit with consumers where it has been available. As it expands into new markets, it should provide LivingSocial with an additional boost. The dollar lunch angle is a great way to launch such a product to capture consumer interest.
"The beauty of Instant Deals lies in the fact that Midtown diners could literally step outside their office and snag a deal with in half a mile of their location," said Griffin. "DC diners bought more than 27,000 vouchers within a 14 to 15 mile range; Midtown Manhattanites purchased more than 15,000 vouchers yesterday within approximately five square miles in Midtown."
"Our merchants have been thrilled with the increased traffic and exposure as a result of their Dollar Lunch Day participation," she added. "Some were new to LivingSocial and got a taste of what it’s like to engage and entice our members with an incredible deal on the fly. Others have run LivingSocial Daily Deals with us in the past and were eager to try our shorter-term Instant Deals on for size."
LivingSocial will be launching Instant Deals in its domestic markets and internationally. Griffin tells us to "stay tuned for more news very soon," and "We are planning a national roll out set to be complete by the end of the year."