Daily Deals: Groupon vs. Living Social vs. GoogleOffers

Daily deals sites have taken the small business world by storm. With Groupon and Living Social leading the way, a number of daily deals sites are capitalizing on collective earning potential. Beyond all the hype, the question remains: how can small businesses can take advantage of daily deals and minimize risk? Or are small businesses better off avoiding daily deals sites altogether?

In this series of posts we’ll examine the daily deals industry, starting with the distinctions between Groupon, LivingSocial, and GoogleOffers:

  • Groupon: The behemoth of daily deals sites, Groupon allows consumers to signup for coupon offers from local businesses. If a set number of Groupon users signup for a particular coupon, the customers are granted the coupon. Groupon charges a cut of the coupons sold, and the businesses get increased exposure and potential new customers. Of the daily deals sites, Groupon has the widest range of discount offers.
  • LivingSocial: Living Social works similarly to Groupon, with consumers able to register in a specific city or market. Living Social has a greater number of household and personal care offers than other daily deal sites and has a dedicated section for travel getaways.
  • GoogleOffers: Launched in 2011, GoogleOffers is newer than the other sites and is currently available in Portland, Oregon (but soon expanding). GoogleOffers doesn’t require a minimum number of users to signup for a coupon to activate the coupon. Google aims to ease user experience by combining GoogleOffers with mobile payment capabilities (via the “coming soon” Google Wallet). Another feature that sets GoogleOffers apart is that Google will sometimes pay businesses for unused coupons (coupons that are sold but not used).

The market is flooded with daily deals sites and businesses are becoming more savvy with understanding the benefits and risks of offering “deals” through these sites. Having a strong customer retention strategy and understanding the details of these services is critical for businesses considering using any daily deals site. Stay tuned for more details on how businesses can strategically use daily deals.