Digital Coupon Providers Are Watching You (to Offer Deals)


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Coupon-based sites are a massive business — they could rake in $4 billion in the next three years. And competition in the local deals market is getting more intense, with behemoth Groupon and up-and-comer LivingSocial now exploring hyperlocal deals — which target not just cities, but specific neighborhoods.

While Groupon is testing out geo-targeted discounts (based on your precise geolocation), LivingSocial is experimenting with similar deals offered in a super-short flash-sale time frame. Mashable reports that the company is using its mobile app to promote deals whose life span could be as short as four hours. For example, you’d get an alert for a deal at your local coffee house — half-price coffee ’til noon! — while you’re sitting at home on a Sunday morning.

LivingSocial is testing their new short-term deals in Washington, D.C. before rolling them out to other cities.

While targeting users based on their current location seems like a no-brainer, should these deals be immediately actionable? And if not, do they lose some of their appeal?