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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Willie Rogers, Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Willie Rogers, Creative Commons.

Right around the time Pandora went through her big re-imaging from introducer of sins to internet DJ, members of Generation Z were going through their own re-imaging – from innocent high schoolers to “well-educated” citizens of the “real world” – ie: college students.

NYU kids could very well have been leaders on this pretentious-ness chart: we believe we’ve been thrown into the big bad world of the city on day 1, that “real life” has been anxiously waiting for our arrival, (we’re nearly there anyway, right?), and that the school we’re too cool for (but in actuality are obsessed with) is blowing up our bank accounts. Hmm…not hard to figure out which one of those is true.

Living in the city is the worst thing that could have ever happened to our wallets. But is it really? NYC has perhaps the greatest number of sales going on at one time, the biggest opportunity to sample swag (shit we all get…), and the most expansive collection of actually useable coupons. Whether it’s with Groupon, Living Social, or OneSaleADay, we know that if NYU taught us anything, it’s how to scout the best deals. So much so, that we almost feel bad for the newcomers from other schools who come looking for their dreams after NOT learning the necessary survival skills.

So how do those “other” people fare? Could we really be not as awesome and unique as our advisers tell us? Could it be that the online daily deal culture has spread?

Judging by the most recent Groupon failures, American couponers are falling off the map. Perhaps landing on the other side of the world, in Europe? Eastern European couponing, or more specifically, Czech couponing, is anywhere but on the downward slope: Slevomat, the industry’s number one daily deal site has enjoyed an increase of overall sales of CZK 2.35 billion (a huge jump from the CZK 1.5 billion the year before).

Snapshot of the Slevomat header (taken by the author, on the Slevomat site itself), showing the many options the site offers

Snapshot of the Slevomat header (taken by the author, on the Slevomat site itself), showing the many options the site offers

In fact, the average value of an order on Slevomat raised from CKZ 616 to CKZ 720, helping to increase overall turnover by 73% (to CKZ 750 million)! And speaking directly to the popularity of the deal business, the sale of overall goods on the site increased from CKZ 41 to CKZ 226. The population of Czechs helping Slevomat (and its competitors) become a very profitable business is growing – and spending more money online. (For more information on Slevomat’s success, click here)

But the rise of the online daily deal industry in the Czech Republic isn’t only due to the rising popularity of social network sites in Eastern Europe overall. Rather, Slevomat’s success (39% market share; officially the number one online daily deal site in the Czech Republic) has a lot to do with the investment it has made in online marketing:

Facebook has been a huge traffic source for them since their founding. In fact, one of the most successful Facebook apps of all time is the Slevomat Wheel of Fortune – a game based on luck that would allow participants to earn credit, automatically share it on their wall, and thereby get the Slevomat name increased exposure (and lead to future sales). Furthermore, the main Slevomat Facebook page has almost 200 thousand fans – which doesn’t include the fans of their local pages.

But they use Facebook for more than just engagement with their fans. They have extremely high ratios on Fb ad sales, and link, link, link all over the site. This practice, as well as their habit of promoting posts, allows them to claim Fb as their biggest source of sales – most of these clicks coming from non-fans. If ever there was an argument for the extensive use of social media for as a promotional tool, Slevomat could be the poster-child of the practice. (For more information on Slevomat’s use of social media, click here)

As a member of this internet-obsessed, city-based, deal-seeker generation myself, I, of course, have wasted hours of my life on Slevomat, hoping to find a deal that Professor “Real Life” in New York could be proud of. And don’t you worry, if you need me this weekend, you can find me with a few NYU friends at the bar with the best offer on Slevomat.

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