Deal Me In: Amazon Launches AmazonLocal

AmazonLocal

Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial last year, but Thursday it cemented a place in its own daily deals space by launching into the first local offering through AmazonLocal.  

For openers, it means residents of Boise, Idaho, can get slightly more than 50% off ice cream and shakes from a shop called Goody's.

It's not clear whether Amazon has become the aggregator or it will ink advertising daily deal specials on its own. In small print at the bottom of the page it reads "Sold by LivingSocial." No word from Amazon media relations as to the interest LivingSocial has in the AmazonLocal site.

AmazonLocal will provide daily deals on local services, products and experiences. Although each deal may not bring in the nearly 1.4 million vouchers -- Amazon offered the $20 Amazon voucher for $10 on LivingSocial -- the company plans to take full advantage and market to its more than 120 million active customers.

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Research firm eMarketer estimates that more than 88 million U.S. Internet users will redeem an online coupon or code this year, up to 96.8 million by 2013.

Similar to LivingSocial and Groupon, which filed for an IPO Thursday, subscribers to AmazonLocal will receive daily emails or have the ability to view the deals on the AmazonLocal site. They can review purchases in the "Your Deals" section and redeem the voucher by presenting it to the business providing the deal. While running the promotion is free, advertisers will pay a fee or commission on deals that consumers purchase.

In a section on the AmazonLocal Web site, the company explains that Amazon customers spend 70% more money online monthly compared with the average Internet user, as well as $55 billion in offline purchases monthly. Customers also can use their Amazon.com account to shop on AmazonLocal.

On Wednesday, Google jumped into the daily deals space with the first launching in Portland, Oregon, at Floyd's Coffee Shop.

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