By Holden Page
When I asked Co-founders of LumaNEAR, Scott Sailer and Kyle Ries why they wanted to enter the heavily diluted deals space, an excited duo replied immediately, “People love deals, and businesses need traffic.”
It’s no secret that while people do love deals, creating a business out of that love has become a tough sell. Groupon is struggling on the public market, and has recently ousted it’s rather eccentric CEO in an attempt to turn its fortunes around.
None of this has fazed Scott or Kyle, who both left cushy corporate careers in favor of bootstrapping LumaNEAR. They see the crowded and messy space of deals as a unique opportunity to improve on how businesses create online deals, and how people obtain those deals.
Currently, Groupon and the like take a large percentage of sales that businesses make. When all is said and done, a $20 for $10 dollar deal after Groupon takes its cut can cost 75% of a sale at the register. There is no doubt that the economics of these deals have put a serious strain on many businesses who have chosen to participate.
LumaNEAR does away with this model completely.
Instead, they have created a platform for businesses to create their own deals. Once approved as a business on LumaNEAR, owners can offer their own coupons on top of the LumaNEAR platform. As these coupons go live, they are displayed on LumaNEAR’s homepage in real-time, where users can then choose to redeem a coupon. This is all offered free of cost to both businesses and users. LumaNEAR instead plans on charging exclusively for additional features, such as offering stats on how many customers they have sent a particular business.
This approach to deals has a number of benefits over the Groupon model. Business owners can keep a majority of their sales, instead of giving an additional 50% of a sale to the deal site that they are being featured on. LumaNEAR can also keep overhead costs low, since they do not intimately participate in the process of creating the deals for businesses. This is unlike Groupon, which hires nearly 4,000 salesmen just to help businesses create these costly deals.
LumaNEAR also improves the deal seeking experience for users as well. According to Scott, many users have complained that deal sites are filling their inbox and mobile devices with irrelevant spam deals. Scott and Kyle seek to alleviate this problem by trusting that users will seek deals on their own time; offering a filtered map on the LumaNEAR homepage.
All of this combined is a refreshing break from the numerous Groupon clones seen over the years. LumaNEAR offers a truly scalable, affordable, and spam-free deals site that can stand on its own.
That said, the deals space is still extremely saturated. Adding another could be an exhausting proposal for businesses who have already ran through the gamut. Hopefully, LumaNEAR has a long lasting bulb to help businesses run through one last time.