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While daily deals giant Groupon deals continues to struggle with being a publicly-traded company, its biggest competitor, Amazon-backed LivingSocial, continues to try to prove that the daily deal model is viable when done right.
One of the biggest challenges in doing that is getting daily deal customers to return to the merchants that lured them in with a bargain.
Indeed, much of the criticism that has emerged around the daily deal model is that many if not most daily deal customers hop from business to business in search of the best deal. In the worst cases, this leaves some merchants with losses they can ill-afford.
The number of companies not doing anything with social media gets smaller and smaller by the day, but that doesn't mean that business has social media figured out.
Despite the increasing comfort that many companies and marketers have with social media, questions still linger about efficacy and ROI.
Everyone loves a deal, and group buying companies like Groupon have cashed in on that in a big way.
But as a publicly traded company, keeping the momentum going is a must for Groupon, which is not only facing competition from other group buying services like Living Social, but which is also trying to keep consumers and merchants happy as daily deal fatigue sets in.
Ritesh Patel is renowned as a marketer specializing in pharma. But today, we ask him about the lessons in digital marketing an up-market Indian restaurant.
Group buying websites, popularized in large part by Groupon and LivingSocial, is one of the hottest markets on the consumer internet right now. As a result, established businesses and entrepreneurs have flooded the space, hoping to capture a little piece of the action.
Despite the fact that online group buying is now generating billions of dollars per year in sales globally, some believe that market is overhyped and, more importantly, unsustainable.
Transparency is so important in modern business. We live in an age where sketchy behaviour is not remotely tolerated, and where bad noise is quickly amplified via social media channels.
You might remember an article we wrote about Groupola last summer. The group buying site had offered iPhone 4 handsets to gleeful shoppers for the very sexy price of £99 (usually £499).
The demand was such that the website imploded and frustrated consumers took to the virtual streets of Twitter and Facebook, to complain about not being able to access the sale.
Thanks to companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, group buying has rapidly grown into a multi-billion dollar market in just a few short years.
The reason: group buying offers both consumers and businesses a deal that's too good to pass up. For consumers, there are steep, limited-time-only discounts on products and services. For businesses, there's the promise of a flood of new customers.
Yesterday, group buying service LivingSocial, which recently raised $175m in investment from Amazon, created quite a stir when it sold more than a million $20 Amazon gift cards for $10.
Not surprisingly, the frenzied buying only prompted more discussion about the group buying market, which is already one of the hottest on the consumer internet.
But behind the buzz, are cracks in the group buying model becoming more prominent?
Google wants to do business with local businesses. And for good reason: there are a lot of them out there for, and they present a largely untapped opportunity for the search giant.
Rumors are swirling that Google's push to win over local businesses will involve a multi-billion dollar acquisition of group buying leader Groupon. According to one report, Google has put a whopping $5.3bn on the table for Groupon to mull over. If such reports are accurate, it's hard to imagine that we won't soon be hearing an official acquisition announcement in the very near future.
You don't need to look any further than Facebook's massive usage to realize that social networking is a mainstream phenomenon that is here to stay. And you don't have to look any further than the rapid rise of group buying websites like Groupon to realize that group commerce is going to be something a lot of entrepreneurs and companies focus in on over the coming years.
Web giant eBay hopes that it can put its own spin on both to rekindle growth in its core market.
Google is a big company, and it earns most of its money with its cash cow, AdWords. But in several key markets, Google hasn't yet fully realized its potential.
One of those: small, local businesses. If there's one thing we've learned from the rise of group buying online, it's that local businesses are eager to acquire new customers, and will go to great lengths in an attempt to do so, sometimes to their own detriment.
Could Groupon be an $8bn a year business? How about a $25bn a year business? Sound crazy? It's not -- at least to a number of observers, including TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and TrialPay CEO Alex Rampell.
Group buying is already one of the hottest markets on the internet right now, and if people like Arrington and Rampell are correct, it could be one of the largest markets on the internet in short order. No wonder there are rumors about a billion-dollar acquisition of Groupon.