I first realized how big group buying got when I saw the predictions swirling around the Groupon valuation. This was the shock that connected all the dots: my friends all getting e-mails from Teambuy, my own recent purchase from American Apparel, and how I bought Premise from AppSumo.
Group buys and daily deals bring value-packed deals to members and customers. These deals often make for great shared experiences between friends. They also make for great gifts. Presentation is crucial when it comes to gift-giving; often times, people just aren’t as appreciative of a printed off coupon or a simple-looking eCard. Presentation matters! (Apparently we buy enough gift wrap each year to go around the Earth 1,200 times.)
This whole group buying movement has become so big that they’re starting to spawn side businesses benefiting from coupons, and even some cultural changes: articles addressing issues of what to tip when paying with a Groupon serve to reinforce my point. You know it’s big when it becomes a matter of etiquette.
So, back to the matter of presentation – what happens when we want to give a Groupon to a friend for their birthday or a special occasion? Or, as a more etiquette-centred individual might ponder, “Would it be socially acceptable to send a coupon as a gift if it were not wrapped up pleasantly?”
Bob Pluss, Chan Yin, and Alex Vander Hoeven were struck by the opportunity in November of 2011. They set out to beautify coupons. Launching with a weekend appathon, the trio rigged up live cameras to show the process of developing this app. They started Friday and by the end of Sunday, the team created Presentify.me, a tool for people to make daily deals gorgeous. The appathon also managed to get them some TechCrunch coverage. (A nice, quick PR hack for aspiring entrepreneurs.)
These three gentlemen are the minds behind London, Ontario’s TACT Marketing, the umbrella organization of Presentify.me. TACT Marketing has also previously created Dealzinga, a daily deal site similar to the ones that Presentify.me is catering to.
Presentify.me is presently compatible with Groupon, Dealfind, Tippr, and Gilt City. I have no doubt they’ll soon expand their repertoire to cater to other established sites like TeamBuy and LivingSocial.
There’s currently a much greater collection and series of designs over at Presentify.me when it’s stacked up against Groupon’s native eCard service. With that said, what concerns me is that Groupon has their own service built-in, which means Presentify is going to have to work hard to stay ahead of the curve and be remarkable enough for people to still turn to it instead of Groupon’s built-in service (and other daily deal sites that will likely jump on the virtual wrapping service).
In a comment on the TechCrunch article, angel investor Andrew Bachman comments that a possible exit strategy was to simply combine Presentify.me with Dealzinga, and also just wanted to indicate to the world that Dealzinga and TACT did it first. Not bad for a weekend’s work.
Akin to the success of iPod accessories, Presentify.me is the perfect accomplice to the daily deal gift. It’s certainly not the only team buying accessory (look, a secondary market for coupons), but it’s definitely one of the easiest on the eyes.