“Deal-A-Day” sites – Not just for leftover stock anymore.

by Jamie Sanford on September 7, 2010

I have not been shy about saying how much I love shopping the deal-a-day websites (possibly a misnomer since most of the sales on product last for 2-3 days), especially on my other blog, The Daily Wishlist. I think they are great ways to shop for yourself and even better for shopping for the holidays, etc.  However, I am finding it really interesting that Gilt has identified a way to take the exclusivity of “members only” deals (which seem to generally be on items that are coming to the end of their season) to a new level.

If you’re familiar with the Target designer collaborations, you might also know that some of them have been massively popular and have sold out quickly.  I even wrote about it in January 2009. For example, jewelry designer Temple St. Clair has a new line with Target, and some of the pieces were sold out almost immediately once they were available online.  I was lucky enough to buy a Rafe for Target bag a few years ago that I saw later on eBay, selling for 3 times the purchase price.  Target is bringing high-end design to the customer who loves great style but doesn’t want to pay $1000 for a bag.  Collaborations on home decor have also been successful.

So, how brilliant was it for Target to team up with Gilt to offer exclusive first access to a number of new collaborations for the fall? I got this email from Target…

…and this email from Gilt:

Gilt Target
So your everyday Target shopper is encouraged to join Gilt, a site that offers savings on fabulous things (definitely a pull for the Target customer) and on the other hand, Gilt is offering exclusive access to an affordable option from a high-end designer, which totally matches their brand.  Excitement builds because of the precedent set by other Target offers in the past, and Gilt is excited because they just garnered however many new members to send emails to every day about shopping on their site.

I did shop this sale by the way. I scored a Mulberry bag (still in the box, I might sell it on eBay since I’m already seeing them there) but was unable to secure the John Derian tray that I wanted, it was already gone.  Within minutes – the site was totally overwhelmed by everyone trying to shop that sale.

I have to wonder if this new sale was as successful?

Venus Williams Gilt
Another completely new line being released by Gilt first.  While Venus doesn’t have the same track record as the Target designer collaborations, it’s all about brand introduction.  All of the Gilt shoppers will be exposed to her brand, and very well might pursue the brand outside of the realm of Gilt, and that would be a success as well.

Ultimately, for brands, I see the deal-a-day sites as a great way to expand the presence of your brand, of your product. Every company that sells product will have something to get off of their hands, and why not sell through a site with a built-in audience of engaged shoppers?

Who else has ideas for ways to utilize the deal-a-day websites for other uses than the obvious one?

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