A discussion draft of the Online Sales Tax Simplification Act of 2016 is expected to be introduced in Congress soon.
The site offers local discount offers for New York City and Washington, D.C., neighborhoods.
LivingSocial, which operates a web site where consumers can find daily coupons for restaurants, hotels, spas, bars and sporting events, has begun offering neighborhood-specific deals to bargain seekers in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
The New York City areas with specific offers are Uptown, Midtown, Downtown and Brooklyn. The D.C. areas include the city, Montgomery County, MD, and Northern Virginia.
“Localizing our offers makes our deals more relevant to our users,” says Eric Eichmann, LivingSocial chief operating officer.
For now, LivingSocial gives consumers in those two markets the option of receiving neighborhood-specific deals or all deals available in the entire metro area.
However, that structure is unlikely to last since it’s in the site’s interest to present consumers with the widest range of deals in their area, says Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst for retail e-business at Forrester Research Inc.
“It only makes sense to offer consumers more choices,” she says. “If you send an e-mail with five offers, there’s a better chance a consumer will buy at least one.”
While Malpuru says more tailored offers, like LivingSocial’s hyperlocal effort and Groupon’s personalization efforts, make sense, the key to their success is making sure the sales teams for the daily deal sites find compelling offers.
“Ultimately these sites are just like any other retailer, the merchandise is what sells,” she says. “So they need their sales teams to source quality deals.”