“New York Moms to Battle Groupon By Becoming GroupMoms, Sourcing and Marketing Their Own Daily Deals,” says the headline on a press release from San Mateo-based Juice in the City, founded by New Yorker Philippa Smith, formerly an exec at HBO, and Sarah Eisner, formerly of Cisco. Juice in the City launched in two local New York markets this week, Brooklyn and Westchester County.
So how, on this, the day of the Groupon IPO, can we tell Juice learn from Groupon’s mishaps? First, Groupon’s deals still aren’t very personalized–so while everyone in New York gets deals for New York, dudes are still getting offers for Brazilian waxes in their inboxes. Juice, by contrast, is focused on one demographic: mommies! So all deals are guaranteed to be at least plausibly appropriate for subscribers.
Remember the class action lawsuit by Groupon employees complaining of working conditions in Chicago? Groupon tried to scale so fast that it didn’t pay much attention to company culture and put way too much pressure on its sales team. Smart Thing No. 2 that Juice did? Crowdsource its deals with an Avon lady-like model of nationwide “local business consultants,” a.k.a. mommy-users who scout out deals from merchants they like and close the sale for Juice.
According to the release:
This means no national chains, just local New York businesses like Nature’s Grill, a healthy family dining spot in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood.
“Juice in the City has a fresh, personalized approach to deals,” said Taso Verteouris, owner of Nature’s Grill. “I like that it’s so community-centric: these deals are stamps of approval from people who already know and like my café, so it’s a trustworthy system.”
In addition to creating a higher customer retention rate for local merchants, Juice in the City’s community-based model of sourcing deals offers moms employment opportunities—within the last year, Juice in the City has created over 700 jobs. This dedicated workforce of moms samples the products and services of their community’s vendors and then sets up deals with the businesses based on a positive experience.
And the kicker:
“Juice in the City is such a great way to do something productive with the little spare time that I do have,” said Westchester Local Business Consultant Kristen Marx. “I get to know my local community better and also get deals that are much more relevant to what I need and want than what I see on Groupon.”
Ooh! Juice in the City rules, Groupon drools. Juice’s New York launch comes after the acquisition of Gaggle of Chicks, another group buying site aimed at moms, and its subscriber base. And Juice has a ready-made network of distribution: mommy bloggers. Soooo, when’s the IPO?