Yesterday, Ebay announced PayPal will launch a mobile coupon service in the first quarter of 2012. Competitors DailyDeal and Groupon both comment on the announcement.It is estimated 20 per cent of smartphone users redeem mobile coupons with the figure predicted to rise to 30 per cent by 2013. The daily coupon market is expected to double to 3,214 million euros by 2015, according to research by BIA/Kelsey. With its new service, Ebay is hoping to use its 103 million PayPal users – including HP, Best Buy and Target Corp – to elbow into the lucrative and crowded mobile couponing marketplace.
According to PayPal, its service will differ from Berlin-based DailyDeal and recent IPO Groupon, by operating on a smartphone-only basis which will offer coupons to users when they pass participating retailers.
Ebay has not outlined whether the service – which will debut in the first quarter of 2012 – will be restricted to PayPal users or how, if at all, it will relate to the current payments system.
Ebay estimates the new service will raise its annual revenue from a reported 2,600 million euro in 2010 to 5,370 million euro in 2013.
DailyDeal was unfazed by the announcement with spokesman Michael Hensch explaining mobile couponing is nothing new. “As smartphones are getting more and more popular, e-commerce companies need to launch apps to provide their users with a comfortable way of shopping,” Hensch told VentureVillage in an exclusive interview. “That’s exactly the reason why DailyDeal launched its applications for iPhone and Android long before Groupon did.”
Currently, DailyDeal is the only couponing company in Europe providing apps for Android, iPhone and the latest iPad option.
Daniel Glasner, CEO of Groupon Central Europe, also commented: “Groupon, of course, does offer the Android, iPhone and iPod touch app, that is making it easier for our customers to buy and redeem Groupons. In addition, we have just launched the Windows Phone 7 App and presence on Mobile Web.”
And Dr Glasner was equally dismissive of the threat posed by Paypal, adding: “The Groupon model is continuously imitated. Groupon strongly believes in its business model and reckons that PayPal would not interfere with its business.”
Groupon, which has had a wildly fluctuating share price since its well-publicised IPO in November, wants revenue to grow from 2,617 million euro in 2010 and a predicted 1,800 million euro this year, to 5,390 million euro by 2015.
“The product described by you will not be able to suggest new products and services to customers. Our customers are curious, interested, quality-conscious consumers who want to discover, try and experience new things in their city. Groupon can be likened to a tour guide for one’s own city and is a way to explore your neighbourhood,” Dr Glasner said.
Daily deal websites email subscribers coupons offering discounts on products and services in return for a share of the revenue from any resulting purchases.
According to the US Department of Commerce, e-commerce accounted for 4.6 per cent of the retail market in the third quarter of 2011.