Will Yahoo! Deals Give Merchant a Leg Up In Recession?

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Yahoo! is tuning in to the needs of its merchants (and paid close attention to some telling search queries) and consumers launching Yahoo! Deals today - and none too soon either. Comscore released its Q2 2009 retail e-commerce sales estimates today which showed that U.S online retail spending totaled $30.2 billion, down 1 percent versus a year ago.

The deals site provides consumers access to daily deals and coupons, and features social and community features. “Frugality is the new ‘cool,’” said Greg Hintz, head of Yahoo! Shopping. “We now know that couponing and bargain hunting are losing their stigma and are now a regular habit for many people. Our goal at Yahoo! is to be the center of people’s online lives and we’re making Yahoo! the easiest place for consumers to find and manage the coupons and deals that are relevant to their lives.”

In a recent Yahoo! survey, 43 percent of participants said they are using coupons more since last year. They also cited that easier access to coupons would motivate them to use coupons more often, a sentiment stated by 76 percent of women. That said, the majority of people polled feel that there are not currently enough coupons for things they want to buy and nearly half actually think coupon hunting is a chore. Less than a fifth of consumers have a “go-to” online site and almost 80 percent think the process of finding coupons is difficult.

No information was immediately available about how merchants could participate in Yahoo! Deals. One can only assume that you’ll need to be either a Yahoo! Merchant, advertising with Yahoo! or participating in their paid syndication program.

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