SCVNGR Founder Seth Priebatsch: Here’s How Local Deals Should REALLY Work To Attract Loyal, Long-Term Customers



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Daily deals sites like Groupon have exploded in popularity and valuation. But one of their many criticisms is that they only attract cheapskate, one-time customers who just want to save a few bucks. Not the kind of loyal, repeat customers that merchants really want.

That’s where SCVNGR founder Seth Priebatsch thinks he’s built something better — a new deals platform called LevelUp that encourages people to become long-term, repeat customers.

The way it works: LevelUp shoppers “unlock” three levels of deals — the first by shopping or dining somewhere once; a second, better deal for the second visit; and a third deal for a third visit. By then, in theory, people are either hooked as long-term customers or they’re gone.

Smartly, SCVNGR doesn’t charge a dime for the first “level” — only second and third visits.

“We haven’t done our job until they become a repeat customer,” Priebatsch says.

Priebatsch dropped out of Princeton when he was 19 years old to start SCVNGR about three years ago, and he hasn’t looked back since. Here, we discuss his company and the mobile/social/location and daily deals industries.

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Produced By: Kamelia Angelova & William Wei