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E não é que a American Express tá propondo uma puta ruptura no mercado de compras coletivas?

O AmEx usa o puta banco de dados (empresas de cartões de crédito podem prever com dois anos de antecedência o divórcio baseado nos gastos do casal) que tem a disposição para oferecer ao mercado uma capacidade de segmentação fodástica. E o melhor: sem cobrar taxas exorbitantes como o Groupon e outros sites de compra coletiva, o que torna a matemática financeira dos sites de compra muito frágil. O AmEx ficasó com a tradicional taxa de transação do cartão de crédito.

The offers work much like the recent foursquare and American Express deal: you link an American Express card to your Facebook account, select an offer to load it on your card and then pay using your AMEX. If you meet the offer criteria, you get the discount as a statement credit. This offers a significant benefit to retailers: no staff training required. Training has long been the bane of promotions and is often executed poorly. I recently spent 30 minutes at Radio Shack trying to redeem a foursquare offer. That’s a terrible experience for the consumer and the merchant.

For merchants, it also provides additional benefits over Groupon, Google Offers and LivingSocial. Ironically, the daily deals model is currently about as targeted as media that were available when AMEX was founded more than 160 years ago. For the most part, it’s at the region level (although it is moving towards a more geographically targeted approach). AMEX can do much better. This allows merchants to reach just the customers who are within their trade area, instead of offering deep discounts to deal seekers who come from 45 miles away and would never return at full price.

In the future, I would look for AMEX to integrate this platform with transaction history data and its popular Membership Rewards program. With transaction history, merchants could better target cardmembers. Instead of sending out an offer to anyone in the city who wants a cheap massage, the offer could be sent to people within 5 miles who have shown a history of buying spa services and spend a lot of money each year. Membership Rewards integration could allow consumers to redeem points at any merchant on the American Express network, similar to the way in which consumers can redeem points for Amazon purchases.

The AMEX platform illustrates a big difference in business model. Groupon and other daily deal providers need to make their money on a one time deal with the merchant. As a result, in my opinion they’re doing a lot of deals that are bad for businesses. AMEX is forgoing that upfront revenue to build a long term relationship with the merchant that pays off over time. AMEX wins in three ways: driving traffic onto its network for existing merchants over VISA and Mastercard, providing a clear differentiator to encourage new merchant accounts and encouraging new cardholders. And the biggest difference of all: AmEx doesn’t take a 50 percent cut of each deal like Groupon does. It takes zero percent of the actual deal, and makes money instead through normal payment transaction fees.

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