I’ve been noticing more and more recently that the quality of what you would call a “hot uk deal” has been lacking, with typical offers giving no more than free delivery or a miserable 2% discount.
David Fiske commented on the end of voucher codes recently but I believe the problem is more widespread than being limited to just the voucher code offer model.
Companies know this and now use agencies to feed the deal websites with “must have” promotions and offers, letting slip staff-only discount codes which has the effect of driving massive amounts of traffic to the desired promotion.
Whilst this initially sounds good for the consumer, it has the knock-on effect of driving down genuine deals in favour of the artificial shopper bait deals.
Also, as websites like the above become more popular, their user base expands phenomenally to a point where any mispriced items only exist for a short period of time before they go out of stock thanks to greedy buyers ordering excessive quantities or are picked up by the retailer and cancelled.
Incidentally, most retailers now refuse to honour any mispriced sales so whilst a handful of customers may feel cheated, the exposure gained by the retailer is worth every disgruntled internet warrior.
So where do we go from here?
I believe we will start to see more smaller, focused deal websites targeting a particular product niche (eg, DVD’s) or a specific retailer whilst the larger sites like HotUKDeals become so bloated that it starts to have a negative effect and site visitors go elsewhere. 2008 will see a massive influx of pre-order and out of stock websites scraping retailers for stock levels on must have products like the Nintendo Wii.