Earlier this fall we announced The Dealies Awards, a program meant to recognize companies doing noteworthy things in the local-commerce industry.
After considering a number of submissions for awards in various categories, we’ve carefully selected six winners for the inaugural edition of The Dealies.The winners are listed below, along with which award they’ve won and a brief description.
Best Content: UrbanDaddy Perks
UrbanDaddy Perks is the e-commerce arm of UrbanDaddy Enterprises, a lifestyle media company. According to the company, UrbanDaddy Perks “brings a masculine, enticing and extremely luxury aesthetic to the digital sales space that reflects the quality and caliber of the products and experiences that our sales team has curated for our members.” Each offer includes a witty headline and copy produced by the company’s editorial team. The company points to the quality of its offerings its sales team curates as the foundation of its strong content written by its editorial “tastemakers.” The copy for each offer is professional yet fun, restrained yet inviting. It does a good job of making readers feel like they’re reading about something exclusive and, for lack of a better word, cool. “Our Perks copy team writes about our Perks with the knowledge of the insider set that’s on top of the latest restaurants, the must-have bespoke leather jackets and once-in-a-lifetime events,” the company says. UrbanDaddy members receive daily emails reminding them about the Perks available for purchase.
Best Deal Website: Steals.com
DM Confidential profiled Steals.com back in early October with a Q&A with its co-founders, Jana Francis and Rett Clevenger. “Steals.com is home to four niche daily-deal sites that spoon feed shoppers curated, brand-name products for women, babies and kids that are rarely discounted online,” Francis said. The company was started in April 2008 with the launch of BabySteals.com, after Francis couldn’t find a website that could guide her to and teach her about great name-brand products for her boys. As of October, Steals.com had more than 900 vendors and sold more than 4,500 “steals” with its four sites. Steals.com is worthy of this distinction for a number of reasons. For one, it clearly exhibits its understanding of its audience and succeeds at offering a network of targeted deal sites. It also highlights one brand at a time on each site, giving them center stage when they run a deal with Steals.com. It also means each brand gets to feature a number of photos of its products, not just one or two (the photos and videos on the site are produced in-house). The company also buys all inventory up front and handles all the shipping for orders. In short, Steals.com offers brands an opportunity to market their products without some of the headaches and limitations they might encounter on other sites. With its four niche sites, Steals.com also enables brands to target specific communities of consumers, which ensures that they’re marketing to the right set of shoppers. Each site hosts two offers each day, one at 9 a.m. MST and another at 9 p.m. MST.
Best Email Service Provider: Constant Contact
Constant Contact is an expansive multiplatform marketing company that focuses on what it calls “engagement marketing.” It offers a suite of tools for merchants looking to run deals, and one of those tools is its email marketing platform, which is currently used by more than 500,000 small businesses. Constant Contact says it addresses the problem of one-time deal hunters by helping small businesses bring in customers who will return and may become brand ambassadors by ensuring that current loyal customers know about the deals being run. “After the logistics of the deal are finalized by the business, they can provide a direct link in their next email newsletter, or choose from any of over 400 fully customizable templates to create a specific email blast promoting the deal,” according to the company. Constant Contact operates under a strict opt-in policy for subscribers, which means businesses are sending emails to customers who have already expressed their interest in or loyalty to the company – the exact segment businesses should be targeting their deals at. According to a study by research firm Aberdeen Group, Constant Contact users see better results than users of other email platforms when it comes to several key performance indicators, including open rates and click-through rates. The study also found that Constant Contact users are 32 percent more likely to use its email analytics tools, which leads to higher revenue. “The results speak for themselves,” according to Constant Contact.
Best Mobile App: Shopkick
About a month ago, Shopkick unveiled version 3.0 of its robust location-based shopping app. The new version added digital catalogs and enables users to save product lists. Shopkick users who tag and like certain products in the app will be reminded about those items when they walk into participating stores where those products are available. Shopkick allows users to get rewards for shopping. When users walk into participating stores or businesses, swipe through lookbooks, or make purchases with linked credit cards, they’ll earn “kicks.” Kicks can be accumulated and redeemed for free items, discounts, vouchers and other rewards. The latest version of Shopkick’s app allows users to pick out rewards they’re saving up kicks for so they can track their progress and set goals. It also has an “Out & About” map, which displays clusters of stores into shopping areas to make it easier for users to plan their shopping trips. The beauty of the app is its streamlined offerings and ease of use.
Deal Provider of the Year: Sharing Spree
Sharing Spree is a daily-deals site that donates a portion of each deal to local nonprofits and schools. The company was featured in one of our daily-deals profiles last month. When the company started in the summer of 2010 as MyEZDeal, it was able to donate more than $30,000 to schools and nonprofits in its first six months of business. Since then, the rebranded company has donated more than $362,000 to nonprofits and schools, and has more than 1,000 merchant partners. Sharing Spree also has 150 nonprofit and school partners across its four cities: Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Birmingham, Ala.; and Nashville, Tenn. In its first year of business after starting in January 2011, Sharing Spree had a run rate of about $800,000; now in its second year of business, the company has a run rate of about $6 million in revenue. In DM Confidential’s interview with CEO Ron Sapp, he revealed that the company is hoping to launch something similar to Groupon Goods.
Most Improved: Musician’s Friend
Musician’s Friend started in 1983 as a flyer offering discounted guitar strings and other accessories. Now it provides a wide selection of music products and boasts a 300-person call center in Salt Lake City. This year, Musician’s Friend set out to redesign its “Stupid Deal of the Day” section, which offers a single discounted item in the musical-instruments category. “The initiative sought to improve design, engagement and conversion by improving the overall quality of the deal while offering access to additional discounts and deals across multiple verticals,” the company says. Musician’s Friend notes that after the newly page launched, monthly net revenue tripled between March 2012 and April 2012. Six promo slots added to the right of the daily deal also boosted revenue an additional 10 percent on average per month. Musician’s Friend says it received positive customer feedback and engagement on the website and via social media. Sales attributed to social media channels rose 248 percent year-over-year in the first three months after the redesign. The items offered on the Stupid Deal of the Day page are often the best-selling items of that day, according to the company.