How to Start a Daily Deals Marketplace in The USA

As per a report by MarketingCharts, 40% of adults in the US use a daily deals website. This number alone amounts to 83 million and this number excludes teenagers. One of the reasons so many Americans prefer using these websites is because of the ease they provide in finding exciting discounts for their favorite products/services. These marketplaces increase the affordability of certain products and services that in turn attract more customers. This makes daily deals marketplaces a lucrative business idea.

This post is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs looking to make an online daily deals marketplace like Groupon and LivingSocial.

Launch your Own Daily Deals Marketplace in the US

Before we jump on the technical aspect of what features and technology you should use for developing your website, it is necessary to first understand the inner workings of a daily deals marketplace. This includes the evaluation of its two important aspects, which are the revenue model and business model.

Without any further ado, let’s start with the business model first as it will assist you in understanding the various sources of income for your daily deals marketplace: 

The Business Model of a Daily Deals Marketplace

A daily deals marketplaces comprises three entities. Following is a summary of all three entities in detail.

The Admin

The admin provides a platform where vendors and customers can connect with each other. He/she receives complete authoritative control over the marketplace and is responsible for managing the deals and transactions, handling taxes, and ensuring that only authorized business operations take place on the platform. The admin receives a commission off every transaction.

The Vendors

The vendors list their deals and promotions on a daily deals marketplace. They register on the platform to offer exciting deals and product/service discounts. The most common types of vendors on a daily deals website are:

  • Hotel owners
  • Restaurant owners
  • Spa owners
  • Club owners
  • Bar owners
  • Travel Agencies
  • Medical and Fitness services providers
  • Event Organizers
  • Electronic shops
  • Fashion stores

The Buyers

Buyers are the end-users of a daily deals website. They purchase the deals offered by vendors. Since buyers’ purchases make the largest share of revenue on the website, maximum priority is given to add ease and convenience to their shopping experience. 

We can divide the buyers on a daily deals website into the following personas:

Based on Demographics

  • People aged 34-54 constitute the largest part of the customer segment in the daily deals industry.
  • Research has also proven that educated people, especially the ones with postgraduate degrees, are more likely to shop on a daily deals website than those with lower education levels. 

Via Purchase Intent

  • People who recently moved into a new town 
  • People searching for gifts
  • Health and travel enthusiasts
  • General shopaholics

Let’s take a look at the workflow of a daily-deal website:

1: The vendors upload their deals on the marketplace

2: The admin approves or rejects the deal

3: If approved, the deal is displayed on the marketplace 

4: The buyer purchases the deal and the payment is transferred to the admin

5: On receiving the payment, the admin issues a code to the buyer

6: The buyer provides a code to the vendor for using the deal

7: The vendor shares the code back to the admin

8: The admin deducts his commission from the buyer’s payment and transfers the rest to the vendor

This is the business model of a daily deals marketplace that you need to follow in order to run and monetize your daily deals business. However, the model is quite flexible and offers plenty of room for customization to help you operate your marketplace the way you want. 

The Revenue Model of a Daily Deals Marketplace

The revenue model of a daily deals marketplace is quite extensive as one can set up various revenue channels to boost his/her income. The most common and successful ones for a daily deals website are:

  • Commission: The admin receives a commission on every transaction.
  • Featured Listings: He/she sells special listing spaces to the vendors, which are positioned on the top fold of the website’s homepage.
  • PPC Campaigns: The admin earns money from brands and companies by displaying their advertisements on the marketplace. 
  • Affiliate Marketing: Instead of showing ads, the admin directly sells third-party products and earns a commission for every single sale. 
  • Exclusive Partnerships: The admin sells exclusive deals and products on the marketplace.
  • Monthly Subscriptions: The admin introduces monthly subscription plans for both buyers and vendors.

The Most Essential Features of a Daily Deals Website

A daily deals marketplace can have lots of features, even several optional ones. In this post, we have only focused on the ones that are the most important for the basic functionality of a website. 

Features for Vendors

  • Register/Sign up button: This button should be present in a contrasting color on the top fold of the marketplace’s homepage to attract vendors. 
  • Sign up page: A dedicated page to inform and direct the vendors towards the signup process.
  • Deals Management: An entire set of features for managing the uploaded deals. It should involve the following features:
    • Create a deal
    • Edit deal
    • Delete deal
    • Make active/inactive
    • View used/unused deals
  • Sales Management: A dedicated panel for the vendors to track and manage their sales.

Features for Buyers

  • Search Options: The various search options that should be available on a daily deals marketplace for buyers are the search field, categories, and search filters based on price, popularity, availability, ratings and location.
  • Sign up Button: This button is required as individual buyer profiles make it easier to analyze customers and plan promotions.
  • Wishlist: With the help of this feature, the buyers can save their favorite deals for later.
  • Payment Gateway Integration: Required to enable payment via debit card, credit card and different eWallets on the daily deals platform.
  • View Purchased Deals: A specific form where buyers can view their purchased deals and also their QR codes.


  • FAQs: These should be present to help both vendors and buyers with the most common queries of the marketplace.
  • Help and Support: To resolve unique queries and problems of vendors and buyers, there should be features available dedicated to the help and support of your marketplace. These can include your business email or a helpline number.

The Technological Factor

Once you have handpicked all essential and optional features for your marketplace, the next step is to select the technology on which you want to create your daily deals platform. A common problem that frequently emerges while making this decision is that not all entrepreneurs are from a technological background. In most cases, they are business enthusiasts who pursued business-related studies in graduation and post graduation. 

Therefore, for someone with little to no technological knowledge, it can be a challenge in itself to manage a team of professional developers, not to mention the high-salaries and amenities the entrepreneur will need to provide them. To resolve this problem, we prefer you aim for readymade solutions that do not require explicit programming and can be easily managed with a content management system.

The best one in our view is Yo!Deals by FATbit technologies. It is not a clone script, so you don’t need to worry about your marketplace looking like a cheap imitation. With Yo!Deals, not only will your daily deals platform look premium, but it will also have many advanced features like an email management system, in-depth sales analysis, and management for a charity organization. 

Yo!Deals is available in three different packages and comes with a lifetime license at a one-time purchase. If interested, you can check out its admin, vendor and user demos to know more.

Summing Up

The above-mentioned business model, revenue model and software technology will assist you in setting up your daily deals marketplace. But, once you have created your marketplace, your immediate focus should be on important business aspects like trust-building, service improvement, and customer satisfaction. Once the startup phase of your business is over, you can risk taking bold decisions for the rapid growth of your business.

Ramesh Lal
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