(Creators.com) — “Social media” is the buzzword of the moment in online commerce, thanks largely to the success of “The Social Network,” a movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Just about every e-commerce website is looking to add a “social media” element and to find new ways to harness “the power of the collective” to create new business models. One recent ripple in the “social media’ stream are online coupon promotion websites, the most popular of which are Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com.
There are subtle differences between the Web sites, but most work like this:
— You, a merchant with stuff to sell, contact the site and offer a special deal to your customers — an “exclusive” deal not available anywhere else — usually at a steep discount (50 percent to 90 percent off list price is not uncommon).
— The site posts your “deal,” with a specific end date (similar to an eBay listing), and people sign up for it.