Project zlavy.sme.sk was implemented in cooperation with slovak media house Petit Press. Year 2010 was the year of daily deal portals on slovak internet (e.g. groupon.com). Deep limited-time discounts were offered across different segments every day.
Number of daily deals portals and their offers increased dramatically. A need to aggregate, sort and categorize discounts in one place has arisen. Petit Press was able to offer huge marketing space to fulfill the need. It was important to create a web application which was able to show discounts overview and to create a monetization platform of daily deals. Petit Press marketing space offered banners placed in main titles of their media house (sme.sk, corzar.sk, etc.) as well.
The daily deals aggregator consisted of several modules that solved individual partial tasks. One of the main ones was the XML parser, which parsed XML feeds from individual daily deal portals at regular intervals, validated and automatically recovered the received inputs. Then the new deals were automatically categorized by system. This was a perfect area where machine learning tools could be used.
The biggest challenge was realization of the monetization platform, which allowed dealy deal portals to effectively promote their deals. We built a sophisticated advertising system in which discounts were displayed and sorted according to complex algorithm. The algorithm evaluated several aspects of the deals arrangements, defining the cost per click, the commission amount, the quality of the discount etc. All of these attributes were continually evaluated to ensure the highest number of rebates sold. This system also included publishing Google AdSense-style advertising banners that were widely used on the sme.sk and its subprojects. Last but not least, the system managed a large mailing list, which sent users new discounts.
Since all content was generated in real-time (pay per click, heating, affiliate commissions), everything had to be dynamic. Therefore, a multiple cache system was used at different application levels. Additionally, the app distributed more than 1 million emails per month.
The project zlavy.sme.sk has become the largest and most visited deaily deals aggregator in Slovakia. Copy of the zlavy.sme.sk was successfully launched in the Czech Republic in cooperation with the media house MAFRA under the name raketa.cz.