Earlier this week, it was Google that was launching a local daily deals program, and now Amazon is getting in on the discounted action with the announcement of AmazonLocal’s launch in Boise, Idaho.
Like Google Offers and other similar sites, AmazonLocal will offer discounts on local products, services and experiences through a daily email (The site itself promises “savings of 50 percent or more,” interestingly enough).
Yesterday’s launch deal, 50% off ice cream from a local store, comes via LivingSocial, the Groupon rival that Amazon invested $175 million in last December (The following month, LivingSocial set records with a half-price Amazon voucher promotion, selling almost 1.4 million vouchers in a 24 hour period).
Business Insider makes note of the fact that AmazonLocal sources its offers from third parties:
The daily deals market is huge and Amazon needs to be there. At the same time, it’s a bit difficult to tackle. It requires a huge sales force and a presence in every state. It poses serious tax issues for Amazon. And daily deals are as much about advertising as they are about commerce, and does Amazon really want to tackle Google and Yelp and Foursquare in local advertising? So the aggregation route, like investing in LivingSocial, is a smart way to get intelligence, relationships, and of course money, in a huge fast-growing space without having to go all-in.
That said, an Amazon spokesperson has already said that the company plans to offer direct deals in future, so the above may end up being mere speculation about a decision that’s already been made.
Amazon is promising to “[work] quickly to bring great local businesses to our customers all over the country,” but no further roll-out details have been given as yet. Guess we’ll just have to use Google Offers, Groupon, Yahoo Deals and all the other similar services until then.