Archant has announced its acquisition of a 50% stake in www.Tickles.co.uk, a local group-buying website, where merchants offer significant discounts on a specific product or service, in return for a guaranteed minimum number of sales over a limited time period.
The service is free to users, who sign up to receive local offers. If they like the offer, they purchase a voucher online which they can redeem with the merchant, but only if a minimum number of people required have signed up for the offer.
Since its launch in May 2010, local "Ticklers" have already saved over £200,000 in Norfolk and Cambridge through the deals available on the tickles.co.uk website, and the service is set to launch in Ipswich, and across the rest of the country in the next few weeks.
Serge Taborin, Archant Group Business Development Director, said: “This concept is extremely valuable to merchants because it is virtually risk free - not only are the economics of each successful deal known in advance, but if the deal does not attract a pre-agreed number of Ticklers, the deal lapses and neither the merchant nor the users are charged a penny. This encourages interested Ticklers to share the offers with their friends, often through Facebook and Twitter, so that the minimum number is achieved.
“Just as importantly, Tickles is a group-only deal - merchants don't discount prices for individuals or passing trade, so they can maintain their existing pricing structure. This makes it a novel and cost-effective way of attracting new customers who can then be introduced to additional products or services, while protecting the core business model.”
Jon Shannon, Tickles Business Development Director, added: “What makes Tickles different is that unlike some of our competitors, it is truly locally-focused - Tickles only brings our users carefully selected deals from businesses in their areas.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with Archant, as it pairs the already-proven Tickles model with Archant’s local sales teams and extensive promotional capability. This will give our users even better local deals in the future and our business partners can look forward to even more new customers.
There are already more than 20,000 local Ticklers and with Archant's backing and promotion we expect that this number will increase rapidly, significantly enhancing the value provided to our partners.”
Adrian Jeakings, Chief Executive of Archant commented: “Archant's long-standing presence in the local communities we serve means that we are ideally positioned to negotiate the best deals with local businesses and then give them maximum exposure to attract local customers through our newspapers, magazines websites, mobile sites and apps. This addition to our portfolio of products demonstrates Archant’s drive to find the most innovative and cost-effective ways for our local advertisers to reach their target audience.”
As well as the website, the Tickles product portfolio also contains a variety of social media tools, an iPhone app and a blog, with other developments in the pipeline.
[HTML_REMOVED]Pictured top are Serge Taborin of Archant (left) and Aimee Hunt and Jon Shannon from Tickles.
© Archant Ltd 2013