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LivingSocial drives local commerce via instant mobile deals

LivingSocial is introducing an instant deals pilot program that lets consumers search nearby offers from their favorite restaurants and attractions.

The company is delivering the real-time offers to both consumers and merchants and plans to launch a test run with LivingSocial members in Washington. The Instant Deals feature will be added to the company’s mobile application.

“Instant Deals lets consumers find immediate deals at restaurants and attractions within a half-mile radius of their current location via their LivingSocial mobile applications,” said Maire Griffin, director of communications at LivingSocial, Washington.

“It delivers real-time benefits for consumers and merchants and launched as a test with LivingSocial members in Washington, DC,” she said. “This is part of LivingSocial’s growing suite of local commerce offerings, which also includes travel vertical LivingSocial Escapes, family vertical LivingSocial Family Edition and Koofers for college students.”

LivingSocial offers daily deals to its members.

Instant difference
Unlike the LivingSocial daily deals, which are live for 24 hours, Instant Deals are live for a short period of time.

For example, a lunch-driven restaurant can increase its sales during a slow afternoon by offering a special deal between 3 – 5 p.m.

Additionally, users can click on the Instant Deals feature to receive notifications about current offers within half a mile of their location.

“LivingSocial Instant Deals brings a real-time twist to the way merchants market their business and how consumers discover the best experiences in their neighborhood,” Ms. Griffin said. “Local merchants can now work with LivingSocial to craft deals to optimize traffic through their doors during slower business hours or just when they want to bring in more customers. 

“LivingSocial Instant Deals lets merchants offer instantaneous deals to boost traffic,” she said. “For example, if a sandwich shop is having a slow lunch hour, the shop’s manager can blast out a 30 percent-off-a-hoagie deal that expires in two hours.

“As of yesterday, 44 merchants had already signed onto the Instant program.”

Members only
LivingSocial members can keep track of their Instant Deals purchases via the application.

The company plans to test the launch in some of the highest foot traffic areas in Washington, DC, such as Chinatown, DuPoint Circle and U Street.

The LivingSocial applications are available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

“As the local commerce industry continues to evolve, LivingSocial will continue innovating the company’s products including mobile,” Ms. Griffin said. “LivingSocial Instant deals is available in four Washington, D.C. neighborhoods so far.

“It’s set to expand to Capitol Hill, Georgetown and H Street in coming weeks, when it expects to add more merchants,” she said. “We are living in a mobile world – people use their smartphones for almost everything.

“LivingSocial is helping members discover the best of their neighborhoods easily through our apps and we’re helping merchants leverage this increased technology to drive local commerce.”