How Do Daily Deals Apps Work?
Choose your location and see local deals. Here, deals for Midtown NYC.
CREDIT: Google Offers
If you've been sentient for the last two years and have access to a computer or a mobile phone, you probably know about daily deals sites — Google Offers, Groupon, LivingSocial and others. And you might also know that many of these daily deals sites are going mobile and peddling their half-priced wares on the screen of your smartphone.
How is using them on my phone different?
First, unlike websites, mobile deal apps now easily target your location courtesy of your smartphone's GPS. Second, with mobile offers , there are far fewer vouchers to deal with: You can simply use your smartphone to get your discount. Also, using a mobile app lets you check in occasionally to see if there's anything you might want or to sign up for alerts.
Is it secure?
If you are using a mobile app, you should know that you are now using your smartphone as a wallet . The actual buying is usually seamless and secure, but your smartphone can now be used like a credit card by anyone. Google Offers uses Google Wallet, which stores your payment information on your phone for future use. That means anyone gaining access to your phone could easily buy up any Google Offer they can find. That's just one more reason you should lock your smartphone with a password.
What mobile apps are out there?
Google recently opened its mobile deals app, Google Offers, to the iPhone. While it's not as popular as the following two apps, it does have some pretty competitive deals. For example, one whitewater rafting trip offered was almost half the price of another on a rival mobile deals app.
Groupon is typically synonymous with daily deals sites, likely because it blew up in the last few years and is available in most major metropolitan areas. Its app is also light years ahead of everyone else's, with a great user interface that allows you to scroll through offerings quickly. Groupon also offers rewards for users who spend money at local businesses .
LivingSocial is similar to Groupon because it offers deals in most major cities in the country. However, its user interface is slow and it's visually unappealing.
This app actually aggregates daily deals so you can see the best the Internet has to offer. Plus, it shows what's available on cool websites such as Woot — a daily deal electronics site — that don't have a mobile app.