Amazon has launched an Amazon Local daily deals website in the UK, pitting it head-to-head with established players such as Groupon.
The deals site offers shoppers bargains on local services, products, and experiences such as hot air ballooning nearby. At present the service is only being offered to shoppers in London through a dedicated site; local.amazon.co.uk.
Amazon has emailed customers in the capital with deals including flying lessons, yoga sessions and money off baked goods.
Customers can receive deals tailored to their preferences and the service uses customer payment details already stored on Amazon.co.uk’s main site.
Amazon launched the service in the US last year where it is available in 32 states.
In 2010 the etail giant invested $175m in a stake in deals website LivingSocial. It is unclear what the relationship is, if any, between LivingSocial and the launch of Amazon Local.
The launch is likely to spark interest from retailers in the UK keen to drive footfall through the deals, which offer shoppers significantly discounted products and services.
However, some rival sites have got into hot water. Groupon, which went public last November, was investigated by the OFT this year for exaggerating its discounts.
Gordon Willoughby, Amazon Local director for Amazon EU, said: “Our aim is to be the place where customers can come to find anything that they want buy online, so offering great deals from local businesses like restaurants, spas and theatres is a logical addition to the tens of millions of products that can already be found at Amazon. This is day one for AmazonLocal.co.uk and we will focus our efforts on providing a first rate customer experience for Londoners.”
The company said Amazon.co.uk MasterCard customers can accumulate loyalty points for purchases on AmazonLocal.co.uk. These points are converted to gift certificates and can be redeemed against products on the Amazon.co.uk website. For purchases on AmazonLocal.co.uk, the cardholder will receive two Loyalty Points for every £1 they spend.