Group Buying and Daily deals has made a huge impact here in Australia along with many other parts of the world. Its been so huge that many group buying and daily deals sites are launched every month and keeping track of them becomes difficult. Solving this problem and being passionate about innovating in this area was the original reason why we launched BlipADeal and I can tell you that we feel we are just at the beginning. As usual BlipADeal had humble beginnings as a side project and started simply so that it would be easy to keep track of all the best deals around Australia.
We initially launched a version for our own country (Australia) but thought that many other regions would have a similar need for a group buying aggregator and after some research we found that daily deals sites are in fact everywhere and the same problems we noticed here in Australia with group buying and daily deals sites popping up and going away every month was the same in other parts of the world.
With this in mind we decided that we would launch our service to different countries so they could also experience the benefit of easily finding the deals they wanted from their own local region.
Addressing this problem of launching worldwide and making sure that this release was as we had planned required that we get an understanding of how people in other regions react to certain deals and certain promotional methods along with language requirements and the population of english readers within those regions. This was specially important if we really wanted to effectively target everyone within those regions and not make users feel that BlipADeal is a foreign site … basically we felt the local touch was important. We wanted to make our service truly global but give it that local feel for each country, this was important to us and to our users overseas and especially in non english speaking countries.
I used to work in the south east asian region for a while so I had some friends in the areas we planned to launch in and i was able to consult with them. I also had a bit of an idea about what kinds of things was important for us to address if we wanted to make an impact. We also had contacts in regions such as canada and US so we were able to inquire how to present the information to users in those regions.
After we gained the understanding we built language translation features both on our mobile and web applications to ensure that all users, english speaking or not could be targeted. We built this feature on the mobile devices also to ensure that on the go, anyone anywhere, speaking any language could check out their favourite deals.
There was also some thought into the default languages that should be displayed along with what the most spoken and appropriate languages used by web readers . We noticed that in some cases daily spoken language is local but literature on the web is predominately consumed and created in english so having locally translated languages on the web was not common.
We decided that in Indonesia, Thailand and Hongkong the default displayed languages should be native. Even though in these regions many of the people speak english fluently its more desirable to give the users in those regions the local feel.
Countries such as malaysia and India have their own native languages but after some discussions with some friends in those areas they helped us conclude that even though in day to day talk Hindi and Malay was used, web communications was predominately done in english hence in those regions we decided that translations was not important and in the case of India, having Hindi translations would actually be viewed as being *weird*.
There was also the decision of deciding whether we should direct the users straight to their last visited country and city or whether we should provide the landing page to the user every time they came to the site. After various discussions with people it was also determined that most people care about deals only from their region and once they select a region it would be very rare that they would visit another region other then to just take the odd browse just to see what was going on.
As a result of this we skipped the landing page once a city and country is selected and take the user directly to their previously selected region. We also ensured that currencies are displayed as per the region so determining the price is easy for the user. If users want to go back to the landing page however, they can click the BlipADeal logo on the top left hand side of the deals list page.
Some additional improvements we made were to our crawling engine, front end improvements and various backend processes that will allow us to turn over new releases faster and improve the performance and the overall feel of BlipADeal.
The Mobile applications have also gone through a major revamp but once they are approved and available on the respective stores ill cover the additional features then.
I just want to say thanks to all that have helped with feedback and support and those willing to try , test and send us bugs that have been found when accessing the site from different regions. You guys know who you are …
We appreciate your help and hope that our users (you guys) enjoy the new additions to the service. Please stick around as we release new and *awesome* features so that we can improve how you find your deals anywhere, anytime
As I said before, this is just the beginning, stay tuned for better and greater improvements to BlipADeal …