Every day we’re pulling in around 500 new deals from various sites across the web. We only list offers from reputable operators, however sometimes what looks like a great deal is proven otherwise when you start to dig into the detail. Checking the validity of each and every offer just isn’t possible for our small team, so instead we’re inviting the community to become judge and jury.
From today, every member can post their questions and comments for every deal featured on Buyometric. Have you researched an offer? Then let the community know. Is it a good or terrible deal? Let the community know. Have you found a better price? Let the community know. You get the picture.
To access the discussion pages, click the “Discuss this deal” link on your Buyometric email. If you’re browsing the website, the discussion area will be very clear on each page.
To aid your detective work, we’ve also introduced some useful tools. For hotel and restaurant deals we’re now pulling in reviews from Yelp and Google Places. For products, you can easily share links to the same item on other websites so that other members of the community can easily see whether the price is the best available.
So how do we know who all the superheros are? Check out our new community pages for a weekly league table of the most active members of the community (you must be logged in to view this page). For each valid comment you’ll receive reputation points. The greater your reputation, the more we’ll let you engage with the website.
On Friday we quietly rolled out the first of a series of changes that will transform the look and user experience of our website and emails over the next 4 months.
You might have seen this coming. I’ve been tweeting about the work involved in the rebrand for some time and our blog received the make-over treatment about four weeks ago (alongside the introduction of a companion Tumblr blog). The redesign includes a cleaner looking website that will support more advanced features designed to help you find the perfect deals and offers.
The first thing to receive some simplification love was our logo. The original version was a play on the dictionary definition format, but it’s caused us problems since people struggle to know how our name should be written. We’ve seen Buy-o-metric, Buy.o.metric, Buy O metric to name a few. We are Buyometric, and now that’s exactly what our logo says.
The site has benefitted from an overall de-clutter and brings us back in line with our philosophy at launch – that our technology should provide the wow factor over fancy graphics. We are an engine designed to save people money by matching them with the deals and offers they will be most interested in. Our technology is sophisticated and intelligent. We want our brand to communicate this message.
Aside the aesthetics, the coming months will see a series of upgrades that will completely change the way that customers will use our website. While the bulk of the changes are being release through-out September, two new features are been introduced today in beta format.
You can now search for deals using the search bar at the top of every page. Once we see some search activity we will learn more about how the search should work and what results you are expecting to see, and so this first version is very much a beta release. The search results will still be sensitive to your location and other factors that we know about you to help personalise the experience.
The are some amazing online offers to be found for short breaks and holidays. Today we have launched a new Travel section that will facilitate the uncovering of these travel deals. We will be increasing the number of travel deals available in this section over the coming months as we learn what types of offers are most popular.
We have improved the login experience after much feedback from users, and have also improved the existing facilities for changing usernames and passwords. Both were proving a little buggy and the user experience wasn’t great.
The next wave of improvements will hit the site in about 3 weeks time when will build on this redesign. We hope you approve of the changes so far and would love to hear your feedback.
We have an interesting challenge here at Buyometric. The number of emails we send out on a daily basis is increasing rapidly, but the timeframe we have to deliver them is remaining constant. Imagine increasing the quantity of breakfast cereal that you pour into your bowl by 5% each morning. One of these days, you’re going to end up in a mess.
Our goal is to deliver an individually tailored email to every one of our users by 10am at the very latest. The email contains some deals that are only available for one day, so the earlier you receive the deals the longer you have to ponder a purchase before time runs out – or the deal sells out. Our classification and email creation processes is completed at around 8am, which gives us a 2 hour window to deliver the emails.
That’s no problem when your sending 10 emails, or 100, or 1,000 or 10,000. But what happens when you are sending hundreds of thousands of emails?
We’ve been finding out. Recently our 10am deadline has been slipping. Some days our mail server would crash altogether, and on others it would grind to a halt after chewing through all the available memory. Sometimes emails can’t be delivered and our server needs to keep trying. On these days, the extra load of repeated delivery attempts would cause something of a nuclear reaction and kill our sending processes dead.
The problem peaked about two weeks ago, where the last emails to be delivered were being received at around 2pm. This was totally unacceptable for us – something had to be done.
The fine folks at Catn, who provide and maintain our infrastructure, worked with us to come up with a solution. First we tried switching to a memory based mail server, but that didn’t cut it, so we ended up moving the server to a machine with a faster disc and much higher memory allocation. We’ve also started compressing our emails prior to dispatch to reduce the overall file size and eliminate any unnecessary overhead.
The result are looking good. We’re back within our target window, with email currently being fully dispatched shortly after 9am. That enables us to roughly double in size before we need to look at a further upgrade. At this rate we’d better book that in right around Christmas time…
Hands up, we had a problem. Every once in a while we’d get a message from a user who couldn’t read our emails. “Red text on a black background is a terrible combination!” the emails would say. We were baffled – our emails are white – are you really talking about our emails?
But last week the complaints increased. And then there were screenshots. Oh dear.
I followed up with as many customers as possible. It turns out that a few combinations of Windows and Internet Explorer were resulting in the incorrect rendering of our HTML email in webmail clients. Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail all equally affected.
The problem sounds like something that’s easy to fix. A bgcolor= here, inline CSS background-color there. But not so – it was a very stubborn bug. In the end we ditched our old email template completely and set about creating a new one. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now so that we can create rules to adapt the email layout depending on the device being used. For example, on an iPhone our deal titles were too small to be read easily and there was too much information cluttering up smaller screens.
We based the new deal email on the HTML Email Boilerplate by Sean Powell. Even with this solid start it wasn’t easy getting it looking consistent across all devices and email clients. Yahoo Mail renders the email as if it’s being viewed on a mobile device – even on a desk top, and Hotmail/Live wont show background images, which we use to make sure the email width can be scaled for mobile screens. Our thanks go to the diligent folks at Campaign Monitor for their work on css support for email which proved invaluable in this task.
It’s a work in progress, but the first version of the new templates was rolled out to all users today. Fingers crossed, no more black background.
Europe’s first ever daily deal event, the DD Summit Europe 2012, will bring together over a dozen of Europe’s most important daily deal providers on one stage in London and there was no way we could miss out. Joined by representatives from all the biggest daily deal brands across Europe we’ll be out to meet and greet some our industries key players.
Joined by Kate Garraway, we’ll be showcasing our latest partnership (Goodypass.com) and hoping to talk to interested parties about the benefits of a White Label solution and the future of the daily deals space…as we see it.
If you want to come and meet us (or anyone else at the event) but haven’t got your tickets yet, please get in touch asap.
Hope to see you there….
We recently acquired the London-based online deals website, Hungry Local….
Hungry Local was born out of Hungry Media in January 2011. The service was launched and piloted in the Clapham and Balham areas, to provide local businesses with a sustainable marketing service, offering deals on a local level. By July 2011, the site was running deals across 15 areas of London.
Following the sale, Hungry Local will be run as a standalone service under the new name, Hungry Deals, where the users will be migrated over to the main Buyometric offering. The typical number of new deals available to Hungry Deals users will increase from 5 to over 200 per day.
The news follows hot-on-the- heels of our partnership with Kate Garraway’s Goodypass, underlining our growth strategy through acquisition and partnerships. We are pleased to be able to offer Hungry Local users a wider range of local deals. We have experienced first-hand how personalisation revives consumer interest in local offers and keeps them engaged in the longer term. We’re confident Hungry Local users will respond positively to the change.
Today we’re announcing a partnership between Buyometric and goodypass.com, the daily deals website founded by Kate Garraway.
Goodypass.com was launched in April 2011 and has established a strong and loyal customer base. In response to subscriber requests for more personalised deals, goodypass asked us to provide a full range of offers from around the web that are targeted to individual subscribers.
The website is now powered by Buyometric and makes full use of our deal targeting technology. It’s a big change – but a very positive one.
In Kate’s words: “We launched with the aim of bringing the kinds of discounts celebrities enjoy to people up and down the country. Over the last 12 months, we have seen an explosion in the popularity of daily deals, and an increase in the number of companies providing deeply discounted products and experiences. We think it’s a logical step to start bringing these deals to our members, but in a highly personalised way.”
We’re all delighted to be working with Kate and her team, and hope the users will be too!
We’re pretty excited to announce that Buyometric is powering the first dedicated desktop application designed to help consumers find daily deals and flash sales in the UK.
In a survey we conducted during November and December, we found over half of all daily deal subscribers receive more than 5 deal emails every day. Half of these people think this is too many. While email is always going to suit some people as a means to receive offers, it’s not for everyone.
DealPouncer is a little desktop app that pops up a notification once per day it it finds deals that match your preferences. It’s powered by us, so it’s intelligent and learns the kinds of offers that you’re interested in. It’s quick to set up, is unobtrusive and will link you straight through to the deals you’re most interested in.
So if you’re fed up of email then give DealPouncer a go. The Windows version has just been released, and a Mac version will be available in the new year. Download from the DealPouncer website here.
Read the DealPouncer press release here
We’ve just launched a beta version of our website for iPhone users.
An increasing number of people are viewing our website on their smart phone. In fact the numbers have been rocketing. And with a whopping 54% of our smart phone visitors using an iPhone (and a further 4% on iPod Touch), we decided our first task was to design an interface tailored to this group of users.
If you are already receiving our daily emails, just open the email on your iPhone and click on any link. You will be automatically transferred to the mobile site. All your preferences will be the same as for the main website.
Using your phone you can browse offers, view full details and change your selected tags and chosen areas. More functionality will be coming soon.
We’d love to hear what you think. Drop us a blog comment, email, tweet or Facebook message!
Those with keen eyes might have notice that we’ve retired the favourite ‘starred’ deals feature. Initially we had envisaged users starring deals that they were interested in so that they could find them again easily, and compare them with others. You could also favourite a deal and then compare future deals to it, to check whether they offered the same kind of value. Alas it wasn’t to be. Less than 1% of our users have ever used the feature, and those that did tended to use it once and then forget about it.
So as of today favourite deals have been retired. This gives us a bit of space to introduce some new features – more on that later.