'Tis the season: The deluge of online shopping sites begins
Just in time for the holiday shopping splurge: an excess of new websites to help buyers score the latest deals. BugMeNot, the popular site that lets Web surfers bypass registration forms by offering logins and passwords supplied by other users, is launching RetailMeNot, a site which lists coupon codes for popular e-commerce destinations. And then there's Glimpse, a soon-to-launch shopping portal which carries news about sales, deals, and in-store events at Macy's, Sur La Table and other retailers.

What's behind these sites? The gradual breakdown of e-mail marketing. As fast as offers flood into inboxes, users are hitting the 'delete' button: Only 1 percent of e-mail marketing actually generates a sale these days.

But newcomers like RetailMeNot are entering a crowded field, Digg users are quick to point out. FatWallet, DealCoupon, and other sites have long carried online coupon codes, and currently have vastly more listings than RetailMeNot. RetailMeNot does have BugMeNot's user-friendly reputation behind it, and Glimpse seems more elegant than most sites. (Users may recognize Glimpse as the former domain name of a defunct gay dating service.)

Does elegance or ease-of-use matter? In The Browser's experience, Googling the name of a store and the words "coupon code" reliably knocks a few dollars off the bill, but the website that helped close the deal never gets bookmarked. Both of these websites are going to have a hard tough time becoming one-stop shops.

The Browser's first New Year's prediction: Come 2007, these sites will be more fizzle than sizzle. What do you think?
Posted by Owen Thomas 11:17 AM 2 Comments comment | Add a Comment

I agree with you that after Christmass the interest in the sites will wane .
Posted By Bisi Suwanee Ga : 2:20 PM  

Yes, I agree too. Its only going to be hot around the christmas time. People just do not spend like they use to.
Posted By DK, New York, NY : 2:01 AM  

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