If you’ve read around here much you’ll know that I like Moolala – the daily deal site. I am friends with several of the founders, and I was, in fact, the very first person to sign up for Moolala (I stalked their early web site for months waiting for them to launch).
About a month ago I noticed on their website a new little ad for their iOS application. I grabbed the app to give it a try and thought I would write about it in a blog post.
The app is not revolutionary. Groupon has iOS app. LivingSocial has an app.
Like both of those apps, the Moolala app presents daily deals in a visual format. You can see in the picture below what a Moolala deal looks like on the iPhone. The app shows you what the savings percentage is, how many have sold and how much time remains on the deal. Hint: Moolala deals frequently get extended, so don’t think the time remaining is a fixed time.
Details matter on daily deal sites. In the details section on the Moolala app you can find links to the merchant offering the deal. But the caveats for deal sites will also show up in the details section, so pay close attention. These can include when the deal must be redeemed by, shipping costs, if any, and how many vouchers can be used in any given deal.
It pays to remember that Moolala doesn’t set all the parameters about a deal in terms of limitations. But Moolala has an excellent reputation for making right any problem you might have with a merchant.
The Buy Button
Any web designer will point out the need for a call to action, whether you have a blog or an ecommerce site. The call to action moves the reader toward your desired end.
For Moolala (the same for all sites), the desired end is two-fold: to buy the item and to share the item. Here, I think the user interface for the Moolala app is less than optimal. The reason for this assessment is pretty apparent if you look at the following image. As you can see, one a deal screen you can actually scroll down to the point that the Buy button is not visible. That seems to me to be a major problem. If the main call to actual is to buy a deal, the UI isn’t serving the purpose well.
Daily deal sites live and die by the social nature of their business model. They do want you to buy, but they also want you to share that great deal you just bought by sharing with others through Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.
The Moolala iOS app does a great job of making sharing from the app simple and easy. As you see in the image below, the share button in the Moolala app launches a popup with all share options available. They include sharing via Twitter, Facebook, email and SMS.
When it comes to the user experience of sharing a deal, the Moolala app is in the same league as Groupon’s iPhone app. Both present a share button as a single button. But LivingSocial is a little more confusing that Groupon or Moolala in that they actually present 3 share buttons on the deal page within the app, one for Facebook, one for Twitter ,and a “More” button. Moolala’s user interface is actually better for the social sharing aspect than Groupon’s.
The Moolala Share button is at the bottom of the screen, and always visible. That is a plus from the UI perspective.
What makes Moolala different from the other deal sites is the rewards system it has established. The system is called The Paymatrix. The Paymatrix rewards you with 2% of each purchase made by friends you have referred to Moolala.
When you buy a deal from Moolala you automatically get a reward. You don’t have to get 3 friends to buy the deal to get a reward. You just get a reward any time you purchase. The reward is 2% of the price. So, in effect, you buy every deal for 98% of the listed price.
But lets suppose that you have a friend who signs up after you have shared a deal with her using a share button in the app. When she makes a purchase, you also get a reward when she buys the deal. Again, you get a 2% reward. And, your friend is now in your Paymatrix. Anytime she buys in the future, you earn 2%.
But it gets better.
If your friend shares a deal with someone using Twitter, and 5 or 15 or 100 of her Twitter followers also sign up, you just grew your Paymatrix by 5 or 15 or 100. And, when ever those friends of your friend sign up their friends? Your Paymatrix grows in number.
And when any one in your Paymatrix down to 4 levels below you (you are the 5th level in the Paymatrix) makes a purchase? You get 2% of the deal…forever.
How this relates to the Moolala iPhone App is pretty cool. The app lets you keep track of both how many people are in your Paymatrix as well as how much you have been rewarded by the 2% payout from those friends’ purchases. The red arrows in the image to the right show the number in your Paymatrix (in each level) as well as the status of your rewards.
Interestingly, with Moolala you can never ever purchase a deal, and still be rewarded. Groupon doesn’t do that. LivingSocial doesn’t do that.
If you look at the image to the right, you’ll see the Paymatrix count at the top, the Rewards in the middle, and, using 20% of the available screen space, the “Invite Now” button.
Don’t overlook that or fail to use it. If you like what you see in the Paymatrix and the Rewards section, you’re going to have to use that Invite Now button. That is, if you want to get those rewards, you have to grow your Paymatrix.
When you use the Invite Now button you will be presented with 6 different options for inviting friends and contacts right from your iOS device.
As you can see to the left, the 6 ways to Invite Now takes full advantage of iOS. When you invite friends, they become part of your Paymatrix. When you share a deal, they have to become part of your Paymatrix to view the deal. When you share a deal you have bought you actually make up to 20% on each deal someone later buys from that link if they are new to your Paymatrix. You will earn 2% for any future purchases anyone in your Paymatrix makes.