Amazon Brings its Deals Site to Seattle Area, Still Backed by LivingSocial for Now
Amazon.com’s attempt to cash in on the online-coupon craze, AmazonLocal, is spreading to a bigger market: The online retailer’s hometown of Seattle. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) kicked off its deals offering earlier this month, starting out in Boise, ID. Today, Amazon is announcing its first discounts in the Seattle area, including a half-off coupon for food and drinks at the Garage, a fancy-pants bowling and pool joint just down the block from Xconomy’s First Hill office.
It’s not just confined to Seattle proper—I coincidentally got another offer for a spa discount in the Tacoma area in my personal email this morning, and I found a restaurant coupon for the Bellevue area too. The AmazonLocal Seattle Twitter feed identifies a fourth offer up in Snohomish County.
The offers are being provided by No. 2 daily deals service LivingSocial, but Amazon says it’ll eventually start plugging its own discounts into the service. This market obviously makes sense for Amazon’s bedrock shopping brand, but as a feature it hardly stands apart from the herd of online discount-mongers chasing Groupon’s wild ride (well, not the relentless criticism part).
I wonder how long it’ll take to see whether Amazon has decided to apply its retail expertise and massive data-crunching power to this market, or if this just fades away as a me-too campaign of the moment. I also wonder whether AmazonLocal will have any interplay with Seattle’s Tippr, which recently gobbled up crosstown discount service DealPop from WhitePages. Tippr’s Martin Tobias has likened the startup’s patent portfolio to “pocket aces” in the deals market.