It seems like just yesterday the group coupon mega site that started it all offered its first deal of the day. Back in October of 2008, GroupOn offered a half price special on pizza from the restaurant on the ground level of the building they were in. Nearly 3 years later, GroupOn is one of the fastest growing companies ever and saw revenue of $644.7 million in the first quarter of this year. Most of the news on GroupOn is positive however, as the group coupon site has found, with great success comes many, many, many copy-cats.
The surge in the amount of these daily deal sites has forced GroupOn to evolve more quickly than they ever anticipated. Foes such as; LivingSocial, SwarmJam, WagJag and many more have kept GroupOn on its toes and GroupOn hasn’t missed a step.
In the past few months, they’ve gone from offering one deal a day in each city for 24 hours to offering several deals a day in a city and extending the period the deal is available from 24 hours to 48 or even 72. They made a deal with the location based social networking service Foursquare, which now allows them to offer up to the hour deals on locations you may be walking by. They also made a deal with the online travel booking website Expedia to offer what they call “Getaways” to various resorts, hotels and cities outside of your province, state, and even country.
Many of these new additions seem to working very well in the cities they’re available in. Because GroupOn is expected to have the largest user base of all the daily deals sites, it allows them to try new things and be the trendsetter when it comes to group coupon sites rather than be the follower.
Even with major sites like Facebook, Google and Amazon starting up their own versions of daily deal sites, GroupOn has managed to stay on top. Their ability to evolve with the market and their willingness to try new things has kept them one of the fastest growing companies ever and has stock market analysts drooling over a possible IPO. Stay tuned!
I’ve gotten an email or two from friends lately asking me which group coupon sites are available in Windsor. If you recall, I wrote a post a few months back about how there were too many group coupon sites, now there are even more! Windsor Ontario isn’t even that big of a city, with a population of just over 200,000, it’s amazing that so many of these types of sites are even available for us. Here is a list of the most popular coupon sites in Windsor, along with a quick word or two about their updates and success.
GroupOn – The one that started it all. This was the first site of it’s kind to be available for Windsorites and is clearly the most popular. They’re so popular in fact, that they’ve sometimes strayed away from their “one deal a day” motto and added two or three at a time.
SwarmJam – This is the one connected to the Windsor Star website, along with all other newspaper sites under Post Media Inc. They update with a deal or two a day as well. What’s nice about SwarmJam is the deals are usually available for two or three days, not just one.
Kijiji Deals – I just noticed this one a couple weeks ago, but apparently it’s been available for awhile. They add a fresh deal on a daily basis and most of those deals seem to be for very small ticket items which cost less than $50.
WagJag – I’m not even sure if the WagJag deals for Windsor are even supposed to be for Windsorites. Most of their deals are big ticket items and most of the companies offering deals aren’t even based in Windsor.
DealTicker – Yet another “Windsor Deals” site where most of the offers seem to be online deals from other cities. The two deals available today are both from companies located in the United States.
LivingSocial – It seems like they’re going to have deals available in Windsor soon because their Google ads in the are are very targeted for us. As of this morning, they still haven’t had a deal in city.
DealFind – See above.
So there ya go! There are a total of 7 group coupon sites available in Windsor Ontario (sort of). My guess is we’ll see at least three or four more by the end of the year. I suggest you give them all a try and see which of them has the best daily deals for you! Good luck!
Anyone who has been paying attention to “what’s hot online” lately has undoubtedly heard of the new craze of group coupon sites. For those of you who haven’t heard of them they’re basically coupon sites that anyone can sign up to as long as you have an email address. These social coupon sites send daily deals to your email for up to 90% off of merchandise from stores in your community.
The catch is the deal doesn’t happen until a certain amount of people have purchased the deal. For example; on the largest and most talked about group coupon site Groupon the deal in my city of Windsor, Ontario today is $36 for Five Fresh Gourmet Meals from Great Foods Goddess, but the deal wasn’t “on” until at least 10 people purchased it which happened at 7 this morning.
These sites are incredibly successful so far. As I said earlier the most popular one is probably GroupOn, followed closely by Living Social, Wag Jag and a plethora of others that I probably haven’t even heard of. Why are there so many of these sites? They’re incredibly easy to clone and create and company after company is quickly trying to jump in. In fact, these sites are so successful that Google tried buying GroupOn late last year for over 6 billion and GroupOn turned them down. Now Google has decided to launch their own coupon site, but are they too late?
How many of these group coupon sites could one person really keep track of? I’m personally not currently signed up to any of them, but I couldn’t imagine getting emails from more than 3 or 4 of them and checking them on a daily basis. Eventually, I’d just get annoyed. It seems to me that being early in the game is the way to be successful in the coupon business. The earlier you started the more users you’ll have in your system. The more users you have in your system the more sales your merchants will get. The more sales your merchants get the more likely it is that they’ll come back.
In my opinion, the only way for new comers to get a footing in this business it to focus on cities and towns that the bigger sites haven’t gotten to yet. They better hurry though, my city has a population of just over 200,000 people and there are already group coupons available from GroupOn, Living Social, Wag Jag and Swarm Jam.
What do you think? How many group coupon sites are you signed up to? Do you think there are too many already? Will the new ones actually gain a market share? Comment and let me know!