Why You May Be Less Likely to Delete that Daily Deal

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For many consumers, “daily deal remorse”—regret felt after getting caught up in the moment and biting on an offer from Groupon or LivingSocial for no good reason—has been replaced by what might be called “daily deal fatigue.” It’s the feeling of being overwhelmed by the onslaught of dozens, even hundreds of daily deals, very few of which seem exciting or remotely relevant to you and your interests. There has to be a better way to bring deals to people than simply flooding their in-boxes with offers that run the full gamut from paintball specials to spa appointments, hair coloring to vegan cuisine.

All sides of the daily deal equation have an interest in the idea of personalized deals. Businesses offering deals want their products and services seen by the consumers who are most likely to be interested in them, and consumers want to see only the products and services that they’re most likely to buy. Some stubborn men, for instance, just won’t buy bikini waxes or nail treatments, no matter how many Groupons they’re sent or how cheap the offer.

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The concept of customized, more relevant daily deals has been around at least since Groupon began talking about it two years ago. Amazon‘s entrant in the daily deal space, AmazonLocal, which has ramped up efforts to sign up subscribers in recent months, has just introduced its own “Deal Preferences” option. With it, subscribers can select the types of deals that they want to receive and never have to see their in-boxes clogged with deals from other categories.

“The introduction of Deal Preferences upholds Amazon’s long tradition of delivering relevant products and services to customers,” said Mike George, AmazonLocal vice president, when Deal Preferences was rolled out. “AmazonLocal provides customers in 100 markets across the U.S with deals every day, and … those customers can now use Deal Preferences to get exactly the offers they want sent directly to their inbox.”

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For the most part, Groupon subscribers can do the same thing and opt out of any deals they’d rather not see. With both deal purveyors, the onus is on the subscriber to take the initiative and alter their preferences. Relatively speaking, this is a labor intensive activity for today’s web users, who are accustomed to magically getting customized suggestions from Netflix, Google, and more with no effort whatsoever.

So what makes Amazon’s Deal Preferences noteworthy? As an AllThingsD post points out, it could be what happens down the line as preferences and daily deal customization get more sophisticated:

The holy grail of recommendations is clearly when consumers get relevant offers without spending any time at all on updating their profiles. To do that, the deals provider would have to know the consumer’s interests and spending habits. Clearly, Amazon is one of those merchants that has that data.

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In the same way that Amazon uses your purchase and browsing history to suggest books, toys, DVDs, and more you might also be interested in buying, over time AmazonLocal should get better and better at predicting the types of daily deals that’d best pique your interests. In theory, this would be a win-win, with subscribers getting only relevant offers, and with a newly focused AmazonLocal showing deals only to the subscribers who are likely to buy them.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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