But losses mount for the home furnishings e-retailer that went public in October.
Consumers now expect e-mails to contain a bargain, says a Strongmail executive.
Flash-sale sites may be relatively new to e-commerce, but they already have an influence far beyond their own scope—they’ve led consumers to expect a deal when they receive a retailer’s e-mail, says Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services at e-mail vendor StrongMail Systems Inc.
That may have implications for other manufacturers and other online retailers that have relied on e-mail marketing to draw in customers, he says. That’s because consumers can rely on a single e-mail from a flash-sale site rather than signing up for separate e-mails from each manufacturer and online retailer, he says.
“They might subscribe to a deal-a-day site and get one e-mail instead of six,” Deutsch says. “Consumers want less clutter.”
That may prompt more retailers to consider launching their own online daily-deal programs, he says.
But they must move quickly, he says, or they may lose e-mail subscribers. That’s because, even though the assumption behind flash-sale sites is that consumers want the best price regardless of who they buy the product, consumers are now building an affinity for particular deal sites, he says.