The promise of new revenue streams has lured yet another media company into the nascent world of social ecommerce. Online wedding resource The Knot on Wednesday debuted what it itself is calling a "Groupon-like" group-buying program at Deals.WeddingChannel.com.
WeddingChannel.com Deals will immediately begin encouraging its readership of roughly two million brides to spread the word about deep discounts on everything from luxury honeymoons and diamond jewelry to local wedding services like photography and entertainment.
"Millions of brides are now able to band together and instantly find and purchase unheard of, exclusive deals," David Liu, CEO of The Knot, said of the new service.
Every week, two new deals will be posted on WeddingChannel.com Deals for brides across the country. Plus, each week, exclusive wedding coupons will also be posted in local markets, including Chicago, Boston and Houston.
Grabbing the industry's attention back in April, social buying pioneer Groupon secured $135 million from Digital Sky Technologies, along with Battery Ventures. The startup, which closed its Accel-led second round of funding late last year to the tune of $30 million, now claims to be profitable and employing over 270 employees -- the majority of whom are sales associates responsible for reaching deals with local service providers ranging from yoga studios to sushi restaurants.
Groupon offers deep discounts on local deals on everything from spas and sky diving lessons to hotels and restaurants. Discounts range from 40% to 90% of the normal price. If enough people buy into the offer, everyone gets the deal. If there aren't enough people, no one gets the deal.
Groupon collects payment and passes it on, minus their fee, to the business. What makes the service so compelling is that people have an incentive to get their friends involved to make sure the minimum is hit.
Similarly, if enough brides sign up to purchase a specific deal on WeddingChannel.com Deals, they will receive an email confirmation that the deal is theirs.
Also like Groupon, Brides are encouraged to share WeddingChannel.com Deals on WeddingChannel.com message boards, Facebook, Twitter or send an email alert to friends and family.
Sensing new business opportunities, McClatchy -- owner of The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee -- announced plans last month to partner with Groupon. Per the deal, Groupon is distributing content about shops and deals only available to 28 of McClatchy's local Web sites.
The WeddingChannel.com Deals program is launching with some 20 deals, including 52% off an all-inclusive, luxury honeymoon from Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic; a $2,000 discount off a vacation from the five star Round Hill Resort in Jamaica; and $1,000 off wedding photography from Click Chick Photography.
The publicly traded company presently relies on four key categories for revenue sources, including online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, merchandise and publishing.
Since its founding in 1996, The Knot has grown to include WeddingChannel.com, The Nest and The Bump.