May 31st, 2011 at 5:00 am
Now that Groupon has become part of our common language and millions of us are taking advantage of fantastic deals of 50% or more on products, services, dining and more, let’s take a look at the top players in the group couponing game.
For those of you who are new to this, the process works like this:
- A company or business offers a discount coupon for products or services, usually at least 50% off, sometimes more. If enough deals are purchased , the deal is on.
- This offer is presented to users either via their website or as a daily email. If the deal is on, you are sent the coupon.
It’s a simple and great application of collective buying power and everyone wins. Businesses get a surge of new (and hopefully repeat) customers and customers save real money on products and services.
Groupon will likely have the distinction of being the generic name for the social coupon phenomenon. Sign up for daily emails and you will get coupons for the things you prefer that are being offered in your area.
Living Social actually came out before Groupon, but it hasn’t gotten the same amount of traction. It’s similar but also offers travel and family-focused deals.
Naturally, there’s a social aspect to all of this with the sharing and reviewing of deals and products, so it’s no surprise that the next big player in the game is Facebook Deals (click on the Deals link from your FB page). Right now it’s in limited release, but watch for roll out into your area.
And next to be released will be Google Offers. Interestingly, Google offered to buy Groupon last year for $6 Billion, but they declined. So Google is entering the game with their own product. I’m not sure if there’ll be anything groundbreaking here, but watch for it soon.
There are also many other deal sites popping up both locally and nationally. It’ll be interesting to watch how this evolves. The bottom line for you, the user, is what offers are good for you. Which one is better for you will depend on how many deals are offered in your area that are of interest to you. But buyer beware. It’s great to be able to try a business or product out at a discount, but spending a lot of money on good deals that you won’t ever use, is just a waste.
I found a great post that gives a really useful data on the four sites mentioned above. Click here to take a look.