Group buying has been gaining ground worldwide. It got its start in China as tuángòu and now hundreds of Chinese Web sites compete to provide deal-of-the-day discounts to Chinese consumers.
Groupon, a fast-growing US group buying site, is a popular destination for consumers seeking special limited-time, deep-discount deals offered by restaurants, stores, hotels, spas and other marketers. Groupon's competitors include LivingSocial and Tippr (see logo below). Facebook and Twitter are an integral part of group-buying communication, allowing deals to go viral and win customers quickly.
Groupon's London branch maintains a Facebook page where thousands of fans can click to see the deal of the day, suggest new deals and send friends to sign up. UK consumers can also find deals at the site and FB page of competitor Groupola.
Can group buying sites be a long-term value proposition? Or is this concept maturing so rapidly that the major competitors will have to evolve other offerings to stay relevant and gain attention in an increasingly crowded marketplace?