The consumer review website, Mouthshut.com, has entered into the daily deals website business in India. The online company has launched a daily deals site called Dealface.com. Similar to other group-buying websites, Dealface.com will offer deep discount deals on spas, dance classes, health checkups, car service, restaurants, spiritual healing and teeth cleanings, to begin with. Later, the company has plans to offer deals or cover a variety of verticals like hobby classes and holiday tours.
The company started its operations on May 10. "We have started with Mumbai as our pilot city. We will roll out more cities over the next few months and look towards going national by early 2012," Faisal I Farooqui, chief executive officer, Dealface.com, mentions in an e-mail response to afaqs!
It's important to note that more than 25 daily deals websites exist in India. Recently, Times Internet, the digital arm of The Times of India group, and the horizontal portal Rediff.com have also ventured into the daily deals business.
Why has Mouthshut.com launched a daily deals website?
Farooqui says, "MouthShut.com has always believed in pampering the consumers. We revolutionised the concept of word-of-mouth based decision making through our review platform. We felt that the consumers wanted to go beyond the reviews -- the next step of buying the products and services. MouthShut.com brings its acute understanding of what Indian consumers like or dislike."
Farooqui further adds, "We also identified the gaps in existing deal sites in the country. With real discounted deals, extremely secure website and good user experience, we hope to revolutionise the space like we did with Mouthshut.com."
But, why has Mouthshut.com not opted for a general or vertical e-Commerce website? Farooqui responds, "The daily deal business makes a logical extension because of the huge member base of Mouthshut.com (4 million members), and our existing relationship with small and medium businesses who are advertising on Mouthshut.com. The general e-Commerce space involves multiple areas of fulfilment. That's an area we feel is too crowded and involves logistics of delivery, supply chain, and retailing. We do not have the large funds required to explore that space."
Farooqui has refused to clarify the gaps that Mouthshut.com has identified among existing daily deals websites. He says, "This is our competetive advantage, and I'd like to use it before revealing it."
On the aspect of differentiating its offerings, he says, "Dealface.com shares the same value as its parent company MouthShut.com, whose biggest asset is our trusted user base. We will continue to build that trust by providing Dealface.com users with real bargains. By real bargain, we mean, at least 50 per cent discount. Something that's not available to everybody. Something that a woman or a smart shopper in India will like. A real bargain is not an inflated rate card price, and then a discount on the rate card. Also, we've spent a lot of effort in making sure that the entire user experience is smooth, right from the website design to secure payment form, and SMS-based voucher codes."
Farooqui claims that Dealface.com has already sold more than 300 deal vouchers.