Friday, July 11, 2014
Slickdeals: How An LA Team Is Polishing Up A Diamond In The Rough
Story by Benjamin F. Kuo
Los Angeles-based deal site Slickdeals (www.slickdeals.com), an online deal site, has nine million, highly loyal users and a daily updated list of great, user-generated, deal listings. Now, a new, Los Angeles team--led by Josh Meyers--is tapping a team of experience LA technology vets to take what is a diamond in the rough, and polish it up, to bring the deal site to the next level. We caught up with Josh to learn more about the history of Slickdeals, and how he and his team got involved.
Talk about Slickdeals and what it is all about?
Josh Meyers: Slickdeals is the web's largest deal sharing community. We have around nine million unique users every month. The really amazing this, is those deals are all user generated content, from our users finding the best deals on the Internet. It's a very trustworthy source of information. Because our community is several million strong, they're able to scour the Internet for great deals, many you might never think of coming across. We also use the community to vote on the very best deals, and along with our staff and editors we uncover the twenty to thirty best deals on the Internet every single day. Those might be on household items like laundry detergent, or it might be gadgets like tablets or a large screen television. The content is really amazing, and leverages the power of social, and applies that towards e-commerce and deals.
There are lots of deal sites out there--how it that different?
Josh Meyers: The difference really is it's social and community powered. Whereas other deal sites are able to maybe put together a handful of deals or one deal every day, and those might be good deals or maybe not. However, we're actually sitting on top of every other deal site and merchants, as a filter to allow consumers to see only the best deals of any given day. We're doing what Reddit does for content, and Google does for search. We're agnostic to where a deal comes from.
It looks like your company has been around for a long time, but it seems like you have been pretty quiet?
Josh Meyers: The company was actually founded in 1999, and it goes back to the early roots of the consumer Internet. The company was actually founded in Las Vegas, but did not open a Los Angeles office until the first quarter of 2013. The company is actually relatively new to the LA market. However, I've been running Internet companies and participating in the Internet business community in Los Angeles since 2002. I was at Overture, then Yahoo, and later People Media, which we sold to Match.com. I have now been buildling companies in LA for more than a decade at this point. When I got involved with Slickdeals, I decided to tap into the LA market, and tap into my network of talented folks, who could really transform and accelerate the deal business. That's how we got into LA.
What did you see at Slickdeals which attracted you to the company?
Josh Meyers: When I looked at Slickdeals at 2012, I saw a company that had been around for more than ten years, a company that had incredible content--really amazing content. And, it had an incredibly loyal and passionate user base. Eighty percent of visits to the site come from visitors who visit every single day. It's amazing. The loyalty of our consumer audience really speaks to the quality of the content. What is unique about Slickdeals, is how our users are turning up deals. At the same time, we have an audience of 9 million users, which is a nice financial base for us, and certainly makes us more of a midmarket company than a startup. However, that said, nine million users is dramatically under penetrated in terms of the opportunity. The market for consumers online who want to save money, or find the best twenty or thirty deals on the Internet every day is huge. It's tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions. We saw the mismatch between the content we had, and the power of our offering. At the same time, we thought our audience could be much larger. With the team coming in, folks such as Greg Boudewijn, who has been at Demand Media and Yahoo; and Gregory Kim, who was the Chief Revenue Officer of Savings.com, and also has been at Experian and LowerMyBills, plus many of other folks, we bring a huge wealth of experience which the Los Angeles has to offer which the Las Vegas market didn't necessarily have. We believe the team is going to be able to move us well beyond our audience of nine million, and take this to the next level.
What are the first big steps you are working on to do that?
Josh Meyers: One of the things we're really working hard on, is data and analytics. Any great Internet business, and increasingly, any other type of business, really has to get serious about data and analytics. What gets measured gets fixed. You need that to do testing and to try new things. We're making a significant investment now to just understand our own data, and what's happening on our site. We're also investing in marketing, as the company has grown up until now entirely through viral growth. We're hoping to continue that growth trajectory, and help increase it, via online marketing and other forms of marketing, as well. Finally, we are really investing in consumer experience. People love our content, but there's more we can do. The presentation wasn't there, and we're improving the UI and UX from where we are today--which is a little dated, even though we have great content--which by presenting in a more modern way we could really improve the consumer experience and drive growth.