1. Daily deals get refined
We've all heard
daily-deal horror stories
and that daily deal sites such as
(GRPN - Get Report)
may not be truly beneficial for
But Jerry Nettuno, founder and CEO of Schedulicity, a Web-based tool for small businesses to keep track of their appointments, predicts that as merchants learn from their mistakes, "random go-for-broke deals will evolve into well-thought-out offers."
"This gives merchants the opportunity to strengthen loyalty by offering targeted, hyperlocal deals and offers of perishable appointment-based inventory," he adds. "The more geographically concentrated the consumer base, the better chance of turning deal-seekers into repeat customers."
He also sees digital "coupon books" gaining traction within the next two years to give small businesses an "engaged, active audience" -- another way for businesses to expand on existing consumer relationships with hyperlocal offers.
"We'll see a growth in local offer networks, consumer-personalized dashboards and deals with specific targets in mind versus going out to the masses," Nettuno says.
On the other hand, Scott Hirsch, founder of
, says businesses will do away with digital coupon services altogether, preferring to build it themselves.
"As more people join the apps revolution, smart businesses are learning that there are a host of free tools available to get them involved and get noticed on smartphones," Hirsch says.
Including those of his company. Appsbar is an online resource -- the first, Hirsch claims -- that lets any business, regardless of tech experience, build and publish a professional-level app for free.
"Now businesses can build their own apps, engage with customers on their own terms -- and deliver digital coupons without the headache and revenue sharing presented by third-parties," he says.