Whatever anyone can do, Amazon can do, too. Groupon is filing for an IPO and creating new jobs for salespeople in just about every city on earth; Google Offers debuted this week; and I hear there might even be a few other daily deal services out there. So naturally, Amazon wants in on the action. The company that offers... well, everything, is now offering offers as well through AmazonLocal.
The service seems to follow the same model as those of rivals like Groupon, where subscribers to a daily e-mail can purchase a voucher that offers savings on local goods and services. Right now AmazonLocal appears to be available only in Boise, Idaho, and I have to admit that if I were in Boise right now, I probably would have a hankering for Goody's Ice Cream and Shakes, just like the other 1,300 people who have already purchased the deal so far--not much of a problem with lactose in the Gem State, apparently.
One difference between Amazon's approach and that of many other daily deals services is that the company will not even try to set up its own massive sales force to source deals. Instead, it has worked out its own deals for that--using other firms to provide the deals. In fact, Living Social is currently providing the bargains for the time being, and the fact that Amazon is one of Living Social's investors is probably not a coincidence.
Facebook and The New York Times are among the other big names that have recently entered the digital voucher arena, along with Google Offers' recent launch in Portland, Ore. No word on what city will be added next to AmazonLocal, but no doubt that when one is chosen, the company will have no problem finding potential customers among its existing database of users. Here's hoping an AmazonNational service offering savings to someplace like, say, Amazon isn't far off either.