Amazon Using Local Deals to Boost Interest in Affiliated Sites

Amazon is now operating a local daily deals site across 30 cities in 10 states, as of today including New York City.

It launched its first AmazonLocal site in June, and has been able to expand quickly through its investment in LivingSocial, which sells many of the deals to spas, restaurants and other services in those cities on behalf of Amazon.

Today, Amazon announced that in addition to local deals, it will also be sweetening the pot by offering special discounts from Amazon-affiliated sites, including Amazon.com; MyHabit.com, which offers flash sales on apparel and home decor; endless.com, a designer apparel site; and 6pm.com, a discounted apparel site operated by Amazon-owned Zappos.

AmazonLocal said over the next few months, offers will include $25 for $50 to spend on jewelry and watches at Amazon.com, $40 for $80 to spend at MyHabit.com and $25 for $50 to spend at 6pm.com.

The offers will drive traffic to its lesser-known brands, which at times have had difficulty gaining traction, and also provide some incentive for people overwhelmed by offers from a dozen Groupon wannabees to subscribe to yet another daily deals site.

While it may appear the daily deals business is a small side project for the large e-commerce provider, if done well it may become exceedingly important as it uses ads and offers to discount the price of hardware.

Amazon has cut the price of its 3G Kindle to $164 and the Wi-Fi version to $114 thanks to the introduction of advertising on the platform.

As evidenced by the extreme interest in the discontinued HP TouchPad tablets that were being sold off in a fire sale at $99 apiece, you can see how important it is to drive the price of similar hardware below $100. Amazon plans to release a tablet computer by October, people familiar with the matter said, intensifying its rivalry with Apple’s iPad.

For other daily deal providers in the space, ranging from Groupon to Google, the entrance of Amazon may be intimidating. Despite announcing the launch in New York City only today, it has already sold 80 vouchers for food and drinks in downtown New York; 121 vouchers to hot yoga in the Upper West Side; 581 tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” performance; and 259 vouchers to a restaurant in Brooklyn.


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