All about NZ Daily Deals Sites (History in New Zealand)
Where did they come from, and where are they going?
Daily deals are now a daily part of how kiwis shop, but how did they come about? The very first daily deal site in New Zealand was Firstin.co.nz (which is still in operation today). Launched in 2004, it was ahead of it's time. Based off the originator of daily deals, USA website Woot.com, FirstIn offered 1 deal each day at 10am. Primarily selling gadgets and computer related accessories, FirstIn only appealed to a certain kind of shopper, so it didn't gain much of a following initially.
It took until 2007 when the second New Zealand-based daily deals site launched to really get the term 'daily deals' into the mainstream. 1day.co.nz had 3 strengths: product variety, brand name goods and very low prices. By offering 3 different deals each day instead of just one, 1day had more room to offer products that would appeal to a wide range of people.
The 1day website was run by a company that sold bikes, they didn't try to offer deals on bikes. They did offer a lot of outdoor sports and camping type deals, but they were very smart to offer items that would appeal to non-sporty people as well. That was what really made their fanbase grow. It was (and still is) hard to find a day where at least one product doesn't take your fancy on 1day.co.nz.
1day stood out because (unlike the copycat sites that would come after them) they sold products with well known brand names. Most other deals sites sold generic (no brand) goods that don't necessarily have mass appeal. 1day still to this day have the best brand name product range of any NZ deal site.
And of course, the most important thing when it comes to daily deals - prices. When you pair popular brand names with never seen before prices, you have a winning combination. Within a year of 1day launching, there were a handful of new deals sites. Daily deals were still an 'underground' phenomenon because these websites didn't advertise - they relied on word of mouth.
But 1day continued to go from strength to strength. As they acquired more customers, they sold larger volumes of products. This meant they could buy even larger quantities of new lines and make their prices even cheaper. Word started to spread across the country with people sharing the amazing deals they were seeing each day. When deals are that good, you tell you friends. While there were new sites popping up regularly, none seemed to touch 1day - they were certainly the market leader in terms of one day sales.
****3 Deals Launch?****** 12 May 2009.
TradeMe jumps on the bandwagon
When businesses get large, other large businesses notice. Auction site TradeMe had been watching the growth of daily deals with interest and wanted a way to get involved. With thousands of professional sellers already on the site they tapped into this resource and arranged 3 new products a day to go on their new Daily Deals page. They launched TradeMe Daily Deals only July 1, 2010.
From TradeMe's perspective the concept was beautiful, they didn't have to do anything. The sellers would provide the product details, handle the sales, ship the products and handle any after sales customer service. What did TradeMe do? Just put an ad on their homepage. Well, obviously they liaised with the sellers to organise the 3 deals for each day, but past that it was just directing traffic to the deals page. Easy money.
The New Group Buying Trend
Over in the US there was a new trend forming in the daily deals space - Group Buying. This was basically 'daily deals' for services. Up till this point daily deals had only really been offered by websites selling physical products. I guess it was only a matter of time before someone worked out how to sell services by daily deal.
Think of group buying deals like this: It was like how a business such as a swimming complex will give a discount for larger groups, like schools. When a group arranges to go altogether, everyone gets a discounted price.
If you think about it, you could almost do this yourself if you stood outside the pool entrance for 30 minutes. Everyone who came to go to the pools you could say: Why don't you wait here until we get 30 people together so we can all get the group discount. Once we have enough people we will go inside and ask for the group discount, and everybody will get cheaper price.
So there was a pioneering website launched that looked to organise something similar to this (except they wouldn't be standing outside the pools, it would be online.) Groupon.com was launched in 2008 and was the first website to offer these kinds of group discount deals. The name came from the combination of 'group' and 'coupon', hence Groupon. The website's task was to organise groups of people online who wanted to buy the same thing at a discount, but who were strangers.
Now of course it wasn't like a traditional group booking where all these strangers had to meet up and go together. Groupon was smart and negotiated with the various companies so that everyone who pre-paid could get the group price, but they could go individually any time they liked.
And so that's how the deals were structured. Groupon would contact a service type business such as a restaurant or tourist attraction and see if they would be happy to offer a discount if Groupon could get them say 100 customers. Groupon would propose to put a deal up on their website saying buy a prepaid voucher for use at this restaurant for $20 and you'll get a $40 voucher to use.
If the deal was agreed then, Groupon would run the deal on their website, and everyone who wanted the discount offer would pre-pay online, and receive a voucher they could print out and take to the business. The business had a record of all the people who would be coming in with the pre-paid voucher so you just walked in and showed your voucher and didnT need to pay anything on the day. The business also received the money up front, even before most people had redeemed their vouchers.
Groupon operated in Chicago so they started offering deals in their own city. Because the concept was so different from anything seen before and the discounts were so good, word soon spread. Groupon deals were the hottest thing around. All sorts of businesses wanted to get a whole crowd of people in their business especially brand new businesses).
Due to demand Groupon started offering more than one deal per day. Then Groupon started to expand to other cities across the USA. It was growing very fast. A year or two later Groupon would be noted as possibly the fastest growing business ever, reaching a billion in sales in just over 2 years.
New Zealand gets it's own versions of Groupon
With the rapid growth of Groupon, word was catching on around the world about this new business model called Group Buying. About this time was when a bunch of kiwis decided to start NZ's version in 2009. They named their website DailyDo.co.nz. They offered deals for restaurants, boat tours, theme parks and all things in between. Unfortunately for DailyDo they didn't do enough marketing, so not many people knew about them.
With Groupon continuing to make headlines in the USA, June 2010 saw the launch of another New Zealand clone, Groupy. This local site was built by ex-Trademe developer Scott Kitney and had some interesting company founders including advisor to the 700m TradeMe sale, Lance Wiggs. The site was clean, easy to use and had a bit more marketing expertise on the team. They launched on June 7, 2010 in Wellington only.
At the same time Groupy was being built, another team was working on yet another similar site. GrabOne was started by Shane Bradley, the man behind other top kiwi sites such as Finda (Online Business Directory) and Sella (Auction site second to TradeMe). In fact, according to Wiggs, GrabOne initially planned to call GrabOne, GroupyDeals. With a name so similar to Groupy, Wiggs requested that he rename his site something different before they launched. They chose GrabOne.
A serial entrepreneur, Shane's modus operandi was to look to websites and business models that were popular in the USA, and then start a New Zealand version. - just like the TradeMe founder Sam Morgan had done with eBay.
With his auction site Sella growing well, he decided to focus the Sella team on creating a NZ version of Groupon. After a few months of development, Grabone launched in July 2010. Their first deal was a $4 movie ticket to Village Cinemas (Normally up to $15). They sold 10,000 on launch day which was the best launch of a kiwi group buying site so far.
This amazing deal set off a chain reaction of publicity, and word started to spread about this new way to buy deals online. Marketing of GrabOne was helped greatly by Shane partnering 50-50 with the media company APN. They ran many GrabOne promotions in their newspaper, the New Zealand Herald, and on their many billboards.
With GrabOne the rest is history. They grew very fast by offering some amazing deals and really pushing promotion of the site. They literally left the two other group buying sites in the dust. Before 2010 was out they had sold millions of dollars worth of vouchers and delighted hundreds of thousands of customers.
Here come the Clones
GrabOne had phenomenal success basically from day one, so it made many others stand up and take notice. GrabOne actually made it look easy. As with anything that becomes popular you get copy cats or clones - others who want a piece of the pie. Starting a Group Buying website was no different. GrabOne copied Groupon, and now GrabOne had local copy cats of their own.
What probably convinced lots of business people to try create their own site, was the interesting trend among group buying sites to display a counter in the footer of the deal site. Part marketing, part bragging, these counters showed the number of deals that the site had ever sold, and the amount they had saved consumers in total. When these counters showed figures in the millions of dollars, it made people take notice.
So the copycat sites started to spring up - it was a new era in the life of the daily deals business model. The previous round of daily deal copy cats was during the daily deal phenomenon - made popular by 1day and their public counter of daily site visitors and web traffic. The thing was, it was relatively easy to start up a daily deal site selling products, but not when it came to selling group buying vouchers.
If you wanted to start your own daily deal sites selling products, you just ordered some products from China, put them up on a very basic website and started selling. It was very easy to duplicate this method. You also didn't need to be as big as 1day, you could make a good living not trying to be the number one site.
But the group buying business model was very different. A product-based daily deal site could be run by 1 or 2 people, but group buying was a little bit more labour intensive. With the group buying model, you don't have any products, instead your 'product' is other businesses services. There are a lot of moving parts that work in unison to run a successful group buying site.
To convince a business to run a deal with you takes time, patience, skill and most importantly manpower. And that's where a lot of copycat sites came unstuck. Learn more about how hard running a group buying site is here.XX
The Copycats Die
So after GrabOne's early success, dozens of these copycat sites that started to spring up. Most seemed to focus on restaurant and food deals, which were the most popular anyway. Many sites launched only to fizzle out weeks later when their small roster of merchants (likely all their business contact who they had roped in to run a deal) ran out.
The problem with starting a group buying site with all your business contacts is that not every business has services that are suited to running a group buying deal. Service businesses that offered food, drink or activities were the best. But many new sites, scraping for deal offered some very weird deals such as 5kgs of Frozen Fish for $25 or boring deals like 20% off drycleaning.
Many new sites also offered business to business deals like "deal to set up your website" which just does not go well with retail buyers. This put many potential customers off becuase the deals weren't appealing, or exciting. And because the deals on many new sites weren't good, no one spread the word.
The main error these sites made was not selling enough deals. Just because you launch a website doesn't mean people will find it. Word of mouth is very effective, but it is very slow. And only really works the best when a customer has fully tried you out, before they tell their friends. When you only have a few merchants to run deals for, you don't have enough days for word of mouth to do free marketing for you.
So many sites came and went. You can see all of the deals sites that came and went in our Daily Deal Graveyard section. Sobering reading. XX
Amongst all the wreckage, there were a few group buying sites that did take flight. 1day who had the number 1 product-based daily deal site also saw what was happening in the USA with daily deals on services. So they set to work to create their own site. They launched the aptly named 1dayOut on 9 August 2010 (one month after GrabOne).
It was a solid effort, and offered local deals in 4 major cities.
1day Out 9 August 2010 - 1 month after GrabOne.
www.onedaydeals.co.nz/blog/300740 6 sites one week - Aug 2010
Over in Australia, the group buying market was ahead of ours and some of the successful sites like Spreets and Cudo headed over to NZ to try their already proven models and techniques. Spreets Nov 2010
Trade Me Group Buying TreatMe 22 March 2011 20000 burgers
TradeMe Daily Deals Shut July 2013 (3 years)
Eventually TradeMe shut down this daily deals page after a year or so. No reason was given, but it may be have been related to sellers. Many sellers would not have been used to shipping out hundreds of products on a single day.
Posted: Monday 19 August 2013
GRabOne Fifth Birthday (Write Article)?
Drop in GB / DD?
1day Bought by Warehouse
1day not 3 products, 3 categories
Decline > Not the hype. Steady.
GrabOne in 2015
They have remained the number one group buying website for the past 5 years. And yes, it has been that long. GrabOne just celebrated their 5th birthday in July 2015.
At my last count (November 2014) they had sold over 10 million vouchers through the site. Considering NZ's population is 4 million, that's an average of 2.5 sales per person - absolutely amazing stats for a single business.
The other thing to point out is that isn't $10 million dollars, that's 10 million vouchers! If each voucher was an average of $25 that's $250 million on sales - a quarter of a billion dollars in 5 years. Not bad for a kiwi startup.
New Zealand has over 40 daily deals sites in operation. At one point
In New Zealand , the One Day Deals market has changed. In 2009, product daily deals were number one. Now voucher deals are the most popular segment.
While the daily deals phenomenon started with physical products at discounted prices, the big craze now is vouchers. You buy a voucher online, then take it into a restaurant, café, tourism operator or almost any service type business to redeem it. Voucher Deals are always at least 50% off the normal RRP.
New Zealanders love a bargain, so naturally they took to the one day sale concept like ducks to water. There are now over 70 of these deals sites offering all manner of products. In fact, with so many sites you can always find the type of product you are after right now.
But how do you check the deals on these 70 sites. And with most sites having 3 deals at a time there could potentially be over 200 deals. Going to all these sites, and wading thru the deals would be pretty time consuming. Now, you don’t have to do that!
But how are you supposed to check 70 sites each day? Well, it would take you hours of course. But here at One Day deals have come up with a great solution. We have created useful pages that actually show you the deals from several sites at once – up to 12 different sites on a page. This means you can have a quick glance at 12 sites, in a matter of 1-2 minutes. No more trying to remember all the good sites to check!
It doesn’t matter where in the country you live, there will be deals that you can take advantage of. Your nearest city will have a daily deal, and most likely will have multiple deals each day. We suggest checking out our Deals By City page. This is great if you want to see Auckland Daily Deals, or Wellington One Day Deals. Or if you are in another part of the country there will be a region page you can check.
For those that aren’t really in voucher or experience deals you can check out our Todays Deals page. This will display physical product deals for you to browse. With 50% or more off everyday products, you’ll be spoilt for choice with your online shopping.
Over a given week, the one day deal sites offer almost any product you could think of. From electronics, to clothing, from tools to sports gear. Each day is different and you’ll be surprised at the range on offer. To view products go to our Top 10 Products Deals page.
GrabOne is good for
What they sell
The most popular voucher deals site is GrabOne. They turned over 58 million in their first year. Yes that’s over 1million a week. Kiwis certainly seem to love a bargain.
1day is good for
What they sell
Mighty Ape Daily Deals
Deal a day
Yazoom Groupy DailyDo Spreets
Rest can be found here: Profiles
One Day Deals NZ is the best place in New Zealand to see all todays deals. A Daily Deal aggregator site, OneDayDeals was started in 2008. Back when they were only 3 Deals sites! 1Day, DealaDay and FirstIn were the only deals sites around.
Fast forward to the present day! There are now over 70 deals sites in New Zealand. One Day Deal NZ puts the deals from all these different sites in one place. Yes, you can view deals from up to 12 sites on a single page! Check out Todays Deals.
At One Day Deals, we work to make things easier for you. Thousands of kiwis use our site, and useful tools each day. Whether you want to see all the deals in Auckland today, or you want to see the products that 1day and the other product sites have, you will find it all here!
So how does it work? That really begins with: What kind of deals you want to see? We have categorised the One Day Sale NZ pages by the main type of daily deals they offer. Looking for deals in Auckland? We have a page. Deals in Wellington? We have a page for that. What about deals for Kids like toys and fun events, yes theres a page. We have dedicated pages for Business Deals, Electronics, All NZ Cities, Travel Deals, the list goes on.
All pages feature NZ Daily Deal sites, so all deals are local and relevant to kiwis. There are no international sites so you can be confident in dealing with local businesses. One of the best things about categorising all the sites that offer One Day Sales in NZ is that you can choose the category pages that you like best, then simply visit them each day. As the deals change daily you need to keep checking your favourite page to see the new deals.
For the full list of the deal categories, check out our homepage: OneDayDeals.co.nz. The categories are listed near the top of the page. Happy bargain hunting! Be sure to let us know your feedback on the site, and even suggestions for things we can improve! Our Facebook page is a great place to do this, and also to interact with our 5,000 strong facebook community :)