From America to Amritsar if there is one thing common then it is Groupon(s). The inside story of the group buying sites is this : the merchants are hardly benefiting from it because Groupon(s) typically bargain for as much as 50% on the prices. As Groupon gets ready for its IPO, everybody has one question on this whole group buying thing : How sustainable is this?
As a customer if someone isn’t offering 50% discount to me then I will go somewhere else. I could care less for Groupon or the merchant. There is absolutely no merchant-customer loyalty whatsoever. I’m sure there will be no groupon-customer loyalty too. Enter SparkQuest.
SparkQuest is an exciting group buying mobile-only startup which is building its business on 95% loyalty and 5%frugality. SparkQuest has a more sustainable business model where the services/goods offered only have a 1% off or a $2 off deals. But these are the deals which are more relevant to you and sustainable to the merchant.
SparkQuest is a much needed break in this grouponified world we live in.
SparkQuest’s solution works with a mobile version of the website which can be accessed at m.sparkquest.com. Native apps for iPhone and Android are coming soon. The app doesn’t provide me with crazy deals. All the deals provided are reasonable deals to get from your neighborhood. The deals are meant for keeping away folks who say “I got the deal and I’m never coming back”.
The web app is well designed giving me the list of things available – 20% off on an entire check at Diesel Filling station 0.5 miles from where I live, 20% of the my bill at North Highland Pub which is 1.3 miles from where I live. The app made an assumption that my location is Atlanta Georgia, USA. Wrong assumption or an assumption which smartphone doesn’t have to make. I accessed the app from Bangalore, India.
When we bring local deals and web app together, you can’t really gain much from it. Location, the key ingredient is missing from the web app. The app should be intelligent enough to know my location (after I let it), offer me deals based on that. A $2 off for a hair cut on a Sunday is something I can really use. How about a push notification for that? I say I will take it. I’m sure that is the intention of SparkQuest. We just have to wait for the native apps.
I see great potential for SparkQuest. Once it releases its smartphone apps and brings in Location awareness to the app and the deals, we might have a sustainable Groupon.
Give SparkQuest a try and let us know if you find it useful.
Note : ScoutMob is another mobile only group buying site but you have to buy a coupon there.