Photo: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley
Around 80 per cent of all merchants that daily deals site LivingSocial asks to run another deal agree to do so, the company’s CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said.He was responding to questions from Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget about “horror stories” from merchants that say they aren’t retaining customers or are having bad experiences at the Social Commerce Summit in New York.
“We don’t always bat 1.000, we don’t nail it every single time,” he said. “But the merchants we ask to run again accept 80 per cent of the time.”
On the whole, it works as advertised by the merchants, O’Shaughnessy said. It’s ultimately up to the merchant doing a great job of upselling their products to bring customers back, he said. If they do a worse job, then customers won’t come back.
Amazon’s most recent quarter shed some light on LivingSocial, which showed that LivingSocial lost around $558 million last year. O’Shaughnessy said that the biggest part of that loss was in the beginning of hte year, and it narrowed toward the end of the year.
“The joys of getting the scrutiny of an S-1 filing without actually filing one,” he said. “There’s one small chart that Amazon filed that doesn’t really give a particularly illuminative view of the business. There are certain things from an accounting perspective that you can’t see with that limited of a view. It’s fun to see little snippets and extrapolate them out without the big picture.”
LivingSocial is one of the largest daily deal sites along with Groupon. O’Shaughnessy said “the signal to noise ratio is out of whack” when it comes to the daily deals market — meaning that there wouldn’t be many successful competitors for LivingSocial and Groupon.
LivingSocial has around 60 million members and O’Shaughnessy said his company is doing “very, very well.”
O’Shaughnessy said the company was working on better targeting its emails. “If you’ve never opened an email about mani-pedis, we should probably stop sending them to you,” he said. LivingSocial started working on a solution to that problem around 6 months ago, he said.