Yipit co-founder Jim Moran is a self-confessed “deal maniac.”
And that’s a good thing because he and his team have come up with a new offering for other deal chasers: The Yipit iPhone app, which went live this week in the App Store.
Think of it as the ultimate mobile shopping guide to daily deals across the United States, including national, local, and customized offers.
“There are thousands of deals at any given time,” Moran told me. Moving beyond its existing e-mail service, Yipit’s new iPhone app surfaces customized deal recommendations from 750 sources, including big names like Groupon and LivingSocial and more specialized players like Gilt City and Rue La La (luxe lifestyle & getaway offers) to DoodleDeals (geared to moms).
Shoppers on-the-go can search and map nearby deals; receive new offers tailored to their interests; browse deals by category, and bookmark deals for later. One particularly nice feature is the app’s push notification, which alerts you when a deal is trending, so you can buy popular offers before they sell out.
Moran and his team are keen to point out that Groupon and Living Social drive 75 percent of the industry’s revenue yet represent only 20 percent of the deals. Yipit aims to capture this sweet underserved spot. If the nascent daily deals sector continues to grow at its current pace of 10 percent a month, Yipit’s smart deal aggregation and personalization service is nicely positioned to become even more valuable to deal seekers who need an efficient way to quickly find appealing deals nearby or outside their home city. Already, the New York City-based startup has 400,000 members and it’s the market’s most comprehensive deal tracker — available in 100 metro areas nationwide — and over a million deals aggregated since its launch a year and a half ago.
Yipit’s iPhone app is a win for local merchants, too, Moran explains. “They can’t afford a really cool iPhone app so we built it for them.” In addition, unlike Groupon Now, which hasn’t really taken off with consumers, and uses a “self-serve” model which requires local merchants to turn on and off deals, Yipit’s mobile offering automates all the work and may be more likely to catch on with merchants.
I asked Moran if there were any plans to run ads against the mobile deals. “We’re not sure,” he replied. It would be very surprising if Yipit doesn’t go after local ads though. BIA Kelsey, a market research firm, forecasts the local part of U.S. social media ad revenues to grow from $400 million in 2010 to $2.3 billion in 2015.
Yipit’s Android app is planned for an early 2012 release, according to Moran.