group buying

Australian group buying sites. Here to stay or fading fast?

Australians spent $504m on group buying sites in 2012, a rise of 1.4% on the year prior, leading some industry experts to predict that group buying is here to stay.

According to a new Telsyte study, in Q4 2012 Australians spent more than $130m on group buying sites and the combined revenues of the top five deal sites saw a growth of more than 9% year-on-year.

Groupon and Scoopon showed the strongest performances, seeing a combined 40% year-on-year rise.

Travel deals stabilise Australia’s group buying market

Group-buying seems to consistently experience conflicting states of flux – from reported positive growth, through to states of decline – so it’s arguably difficult to identify the current condition of this segment in the digital industry. 

However, according to a new report by Telesyte, Groupon has taken the lead as the most used group buying site, travel has become the most popular deal category for consumers and the group buying market looks like it really is moving away from a decline. 

LivingSocial launches its own Visa reward credit card

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.

Can social media accelerate the buying cycle?

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.

Groupon testing new VIP service, but will it help merchants?

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.

Q&A: Samih Toukan, CEO of Jabbar Internet Group

Samih Toukan is Chairman and CEO at Jabbar Internet Group, the leading group of internet sites and web properties in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2000, along with Hussam Khoury, Samih founded the Arab Internet services company, Maktoob as the world’s first Arabic / English email service provider.

Following the subsequent acquisition of Maktoob by Yahoo, Samih founded Jabbar Internet Group, an integrated group of online companies and websites. The group’s assets extend from e-commerce sites to online games, to advertising products & search services. 

I caught up with Samih to find out a little more about the companies within the Jabbar Internet Group, and the future of digital marketing in the Middle East…

Glenn Beck launches group buying site

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.

OFT reveals Groupola’s group buying scam, takes “action”

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. 

Is real-time the future of group buying?

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.

Group buying and the new customer acquisition lie

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?

Is a Groupon acquisition the next phase in Google’s local push?

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.