Amazon shutters its daily deals website Amazon Local | Business News

Amazon shutters its daily deals website Amazon Local

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Kills Two Businesses: Local Daily Deals and Its Square Competitor.

It’s time to add another service to the list of Amazon’s shuttered projects. Amazon has been taking a more conservative tone on earnings calls in recent quarters, saying it was looking more closely at ways it could be more efficient and rein in costs. A message is now being displayed on its Amazon Local homepage, which cites that Amazon Local will halt its daily deal services by December 18 this year. A notice on the site’s homepage says that the service will be gone for good come December 18th; until then, it will continue selling off its remaining inventory of vouchers and deals. In separate announcements, the company said it was closing down Amazon Local, its four-year-old daily deals service, as well as Amazon Local Register, a payments processing business targeting the type of small businesses that would be customers of Square. “We’ve learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants,” a spokesman said in a statement.

At the height of consumer interest four to five years ago, dozens of daily-deal sites were popping up, many catering to specific categories or demographics. The majority of the service was initially populated with deals sourced by Living Social, in which Amazon owns a large stake, but over time the company hired a big sales team and sourced the majority of deals itself.

Case in point: Washington-based local deals platform LivingSocial, which is also partly owned by Amazon, announced this month that it’s laying off 200 people, or 20 percent of its staff, as it moves away from the deals model to focus instead on “experiences.” In addition, Groupon, which has been trying to expand into more diverse offerings around local commerce, announced 1,100 layoffs in September at the cost of $35 million, and the closure of operations in several non-U.S. markets. GeekWire was first to spot the closure, noting also that after the Dec. 18th deadline, users will no longer be able to download or install the Amazon Local app if they uninstall it or switch devices. The future of the Local Register business had been in question since earlier this year, when several executives in that business unit departed or moved to other parts of Amazon. Amazon had targeted small business, such as coffee shops, with the service, enabling them to utilize the card readers by attaching them to smartphones or tablets, while charging them a small proportionate fee.

In addition, the company says that it’s not existing local commerce entirely – Amazon Home Services, a sort of Angie’s list-like service for finding local pros, remains online, and it’s continuing to work with local restaurants through Amazon Prime Now. The site offered Amazon shoppers the ability to find deals on hotels within driving distance of their current location – that is, “weekend getaways.” At the time, Amazon only offered a vague statement about how it “learned a lot” about the deals business, but had decided to discontinue operations.

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