TimesDeal offers all deals free of cost
The group buying portal from Times Internet Ltd is changing its business model and moving away from its largest revenue stream
TimesDeal.com, the group buying portal from Times Internet Ltd, has started offering its deals free of cost from October 1, 2012. TimesDeal has traditionally charged users for 20-40 per cent of the deal value upfront.
TimesDeal has traditionally operated with a similar revenue model to competitors such as Snapdeal, who charge an upfront amount to purchase a deal. TimesDeal will no longer charge consumers for its deals.
TimesDeal made this decision after some learnings – some purposeful and some accidental. In February, TimesDeal ran a Valentine’s Day promotion and for the promotion all deals were made free. As a result, there was 10 times increase in consumption. This drove the internal conviction for a free product.
Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet, said, “After the Valentine’s Day’s free promotion, we knew we had tapped into some significant, latent demand in the market for free deals. We started working on the free product immediately after that. Last week, a promotional code was accidentally released and it spread on the Internet. TimesDeal experienced over 100,000 transactions, a dramatic increase in deal consumption before the code was withdrawn. While TimesDeal lost revenues from the mistake, it helped further validate our belief in a free deals platform just as we were about to launch it.”
Meanwhile, TimesDeal is overhauling its user interface to focus more intensely on the discovery of deals, which will make the process of consuming a deal faster and simpler and also allow users to avail more targeted and personalised options of their interest.
TimesDeal has a strong base of 10,000 participating merchants from nine cities and from various industries such as food and beverages, beauty services, entertainment, health and fitness, and travel.
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