It doesn’t take an economist to wonder about the sustainability of the deals industry, which has gone from nonexistent to over 600 deal distributors seemingly overnight. Now the industry is getting its own exchange, modeled off those in the display ad world.
Wantsa is a new platform designed to provide publishers a way to sell deals to local businesses, assist businesses in making those deals available to consumers and to make it easy for consumers to access the deals. As much a lead generator as an infrastructure for daily deals sites, Wantsa is a set of services that can be integrated into existing systems and offers a number of pay-per-result services.
According to David Strebinger, Wantsa’s founder and CEO, the platform is modeled on the ad exchanges that place advertising online. Publishers, directories and search companies can license Wantsa to provide several different levels of services. Advertisers can use the platform to create and distribute deals and offers, either self-serve or with the assistance of a publisher’s sales force.
One of the most interesting features of the platform is the “request a deal” button that online or mobile publishers, search companies and directories can include next to business-directory listings. When a critical mass of consumers clicks on the link next to a specific business, Wantsa delivers the aggregated information about consumer demand to the publisher, which, in turn, can demonstrate to the merchant a demand for the deal.
Wantsa also serves as an exchange. Once consumers have expressed interest in a specific merchant’s goods or services, publishers can approach advertisers with demonstrable consumer interest. Publishers and advertisers can use Wantsa’s deal exchange to post deal inventory into the deal repository, and, conversely, publishers seeking deal inventory can access deals from various sources. Unlike deal aggregators such as Yipit, which sends consumers interested in a deal back to the original deal distributor, consumers purchase the deals offered through Wantsa’s platform directly from the publishers.
“If you are a newspaper publisher and have a deal of the day site, you can access deal content and deals available through numerous publishers,” said Strebinger.
Publishers currently using the platform include the Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut London and Metroland Media in Canada. Strebinger says that the company has agreements in place with a number of other “major search companies, major mapping companies, major directory companies” that are in the final stages of “technical integration.”
“The Nokias of the world,” said Strebinger, “what they are looking for is access to deal content that exists and the ability to present relevant deals to their customers.”
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