Squeakee announced today that it has launched in beta. The service is a search engine for deals, discounts and offers and bills itself as a breakthrough offering in the Indian online space. Well, I don’t think it is the first search engine for deals in the country. A service called Discount Pandit already exists although it doesn’t operate in the same way as Squeakee. Squeakee is unique because it allows anyone to post a deal on its service. All you have to do is sign-up as a merchant on the service for free.
The service is divided into offline and offline deals. Offline deals are those which you can avail by checking out places physically while online ones lead you to popular deal sites. Actually, the engine sources quite a bit of data from Timesdeal based on my initial observation. The search part of the engine is pretty nice. They have a neat segregation of the categories like Mobiles, Food, Shopping etc. and it is laid out in a pleasant way. Users can also set their location of choice.
However, the results which are displayed are awkward in the way they are shown. The space is not distributed properly. The best way to do this would be to display the search results using the full page rather than relegating them to the bottom of half of the screen. The search bar does not have to stay stationary after the results are done. It could be moved somewhere else while displaying results so that users can focus on the main USP of the website, deal results.
Offline deals when selected open up into a Google map with the address of the restaurant/shop listed. Online deals open up into small snippets which have options for the user like ‘follow’, ‘heart’ and ‘I want it’. Following a particular brand helps to keep the user updated on future deals and specials by that brand. Merchants can set up their brand page with contact details so that users can get in touch with them directly. There is also an option for merchants to create their own campaigns for a particular promotion. The service gives them an analytics feature which shows the clicks, searches, views and traffic to merchant website. The search filters for the engine give an option to select pre-stored categories and sub-categories. Users can also share offers with friends through the website on social mediums.
The new venture has been funded by Kae Capital and Mumbai Angels, both of whom have expressed optimism over the hyperlocal deal search engine’s business model. Squeakee is being led by Abrar Shaikh, who was previously the GM and Business Head of What’s-on-TV, a TV metadata search company. I think the website and its functionality are pretty nice and it can fill a gap in deal hunting. They however need to pay more attention to UI and UX and make it better than it is currently.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Website | Squeakee