Tippr Proposes "Open Deal Format", A Standard For The Group Buying Industry

Tippr, which provides white-label services for group buying, is proposing a new potential technology standard for the group buying industry today, dubbed the “Open Deal Format” or ODF. The company is inviting interested parties, which include group buying service providers, publishers and social networks, to a meeting in Seattle next month.

It will then formally propose the standard to its peers, once it has finished beta testing ODF with publishers in its PoweredByTippr network, the company adds.

Ultimately, its goal is to have an industry spec published by the end of this year, Tippr says.

Here’s what Tippr is proposing: a specification that streamlines the open exchange of group deal information between deal parties (merchants, group buying services, publishers, aggregators etc.), essentially enabling advertisers to promote deals across multiple platforms with multiple audiences. An open standard would make it easier for publishers to “select, run and financially reconcile” group commerce offers, Tippr believes.

Martin Tobias, founder and CEO of Tippr’s parent company Kashless, which is backed by $5 million in venture capital, comments:

“Publishers launching group buying sites need access to the richest set of national, local and online offers to augment their own sales efforts. Similarly, deal sourcers selling directly to local merchants need to maximize the revenue potential of their sales effort by widening their distribution potential.

The problem is everyone uses a different format to submit their deal information. This makes it extremely difficult and time intensive to exchange information between these parties, resulting in slower time to market and, often, more redemption errors.”

Once there is a standard in place, a merchant would be able to submit its offer to any group buying site (including Groupon, LivingSocial, and of course, Tippr) if they adopt the standard, without too much effort. The group buying service provider would, in turn, be able to quickly add the deal to its offer pipeline, and provide its audience a larger breadth of deals.

Tippr has invited representatives from AOL, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yipit, Groupon, LivingSocial, DealPop and TravelZoo, among others, to its December meeting.

It will interesting to see how much attention they get from industry players across the board, and if the group can reach an agreement on an open standard. It would certainly make things much more interesting than they already are in the red hot space.