LivingSocial has been busy. Last week came the news that the online coupon site had brokered a $400 million deal with Amazon, was launching a new app, and was launching a new travel site. We surmised that the company was trying to catch up to Groupon, its principal competitor.
Next Jump’s goal is to bring together merchandisers with targeted groups of shoppers, through marketing that’s based on offering special discounts. Sounds familiar, right? The difference is, unlike their new partner LivingSocial, Next Jump has, until now, stayed behind the scenes. While they’re largely in the same business as the daily deals sites, the deals they broker are on behalf of corporations, rather than individual retailers. For instance, they quietly run both the employee discount and general rewards programs for Hilton and for Mastercard, among others.
With such a big client base, it’s a little hard to believe they’ve stayed so far off the radar. Take a look at Yahoo’s Daily Deals site — it’s powered by Next Jump, but you would never know that unless you happened to notice a very small banner at the top of the homepage.
Next Jump does operate a standard Groupon-esque daily deals site, Overwhelming Offers. However, LivingSocial, according to TechCrunch, brings “more traction and better deals” to the partnership. What Next Jump brings to the table is information — and piles of it. They run rewards and perks programs with 100 million members, and keep extensive databases of consumer demographics, preferences, and transactions. They also operate discount programs for almost a third of all U.S. corporate employees — and because they handle those operations within the corporations themselves, they have greater access to data like employee preferences than any normal e-commerce venture would. They also have access to basic info like workers’ names, addresses, titles, and salary grades. Oh, and they create algorithms to reward good shoppers and good discounts.
Basically, Next Jump is perfectly poised to offer the widest range of the most tailored deals to a huge number of consumers. By joining forces with the ubiquitous LivingSocial to get into the mainstream daily deal racket, they could create a highly-refined, well-informed monster that finally outpaces Groupon. At least, that’s our prediction.