Groupon is all the rage. While its model is simply a reinvention and updating of Mercata (which shut down in 2001) the timing was right, as coupons gained massive traction and consumers sought to save money during the recession.
There are now many companies in the same segment or trying a similar model (partial list):
- Living Social
8Coupons, which has been around for some time, has also added a city specific daily deals feature, built around their “top 8 deals” idea:
However 8Coupons is not a Groupon imitator. It started as a mobile couponer and has switched to a more PC centric model. (See: NY-Based 8Coupons Goes National and 8Coupons: the Coupon Site That Could.)
Previously email newsletter Daily Candy was sold to Comcast for $125 million. Groupon is already valued at $250 million. Facebook could win in this segment if it chose to do group buying, daily deals or social shopping more broadly.
However inventory is key for success here; no single provider or channel has all the content so deals (or other ways of obtaining content [UGC]) are a must in the space.