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LivingSocial lets merchants engage mobile consumers with coupons, savings

LivingSocial’s 80 million-wide community and iPhone users will receive one enticing deal each day for 50-90 percent off at local restaurants, bars, salons, spas, theaters, comedy clubs and sporting events. The LivingSocial Deals application offers local merchants like San Francisco’s Cups and Cakes Bakery the opportunity to engage consumers via coupons and daily savings offers.

“We wanted to give customers the ability to buy in the form most convenient for them,” said Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO of LivingSocial, Washington. “Mobile is the primary mechanism for many folks, and the iPhone app seemed like a logical first step.

“Through LivingSocial Deals, people have already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking advantage of 50-90 percent off at local spas, restaurants, sporting events, dentists and etcetera,” he said. “Now, with the iPhone application, they can purchase deals any time any place without even using a computer.

“And, with push notifications, they will know immediately when a deal goes live.”

LivingSocial is an online community that connects 80 million people to all the things they care about. As the creator of top Facebook applications “Visual Bookshelf” and its flagship “LivingSocial,” it’s a place on the Web for people to engage with others around topics like entertainment, food, fashion and technology. 

Offers are announced every morning through push notification on the application and can be accessed for 24 hours. As soon as the sign-up quota for each offer is met, the coupons are distributed via email.

The company plans to roll out “Deals” in more cities nationwide in coming months.

Using the LivingSocial Deals application is extremely simple:

1. Once a consumer downloads the app, he or she can sign in if they’re a pre-existing member.
2. Users can also select the Facebook Connect option, or sign up if they’re new to LivingSocial Deals.
3. Users are immediately notified when a deal is live through push notification.
4. Users can purchase the deal directly on their phone. The coupon will arrive in their inbox.

“Ultimately, people want convenience and this gives the customer choice in how to interact with us,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said. “As the first group buying iPhone application, we’ve made it even easier for people to access and purchase LivingSocial Deals on-the-go, while simultaneously driving even more traffic to deals which benefits merchants who participate in the program. 

“The target demographic is people with an iPhone or iPod Touch who are interested in learning more about their city at great prices,” he said.