Not too long ago, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare each had their turns as the new hot startup. While all these platforms are very popular and are continuing to grow, the social spotlight has expanded to a new area called "daily deals." These deals have absolutely taken the world by storm over the past several months.
Although there are many players in the space and more rising daily, Groupon has emerged as the leader. While there are many reasons for Groupon's popularity, Patty Huber, the company's leader of social innovation, offered an interesting perspective on its rapid growth.
"We really cut above the clutter of all the options that people have and give the perfect excuse to try their cities with the great deal," she said.
Interestingly, Groupon began as a collective buying platform called The Point. It developed from there into a service that presents consumers with daily offers. Because it only wants to give users the very best deals, Groupon reaches out to businesses that it believes would be engaging and appealing to subscribers.
"We only want to feature the best things to do, just like we only want to feature the best causes to do," said Huber.
Even with the service's vast popularity, most people don't know that Groupon also works with local charities and non-profits to promote social good. According to Huber, the company tries to create opportunities for subscribers to take action. For example, users visit the site for the "daily deal," and while there, Groupon promotes a complimentary social cause and encourages them to donate money, volunteer their time, participate in a local event, and more.
Because the couponing space is still in the very early stages, there are almost as many challenges as there are opportunities for Groupon and the other players. For starters, will the craze last? Secondly, in addition to the competition, there are also websites rising up that allow users to sell their "daily deals" before they expire. Since these challenges will only continue to grow, what will come of these couponing sites?
As the leader in the "daily deals" space, Groupon plans to further develop its platform for both businesses and users. As Huber explained, the company will launch more deals in more cities and will enhance its personalization process to better meet user needs.
Based on a recent report from Local Offer Network, the couponing space is projected to reach $2.66 billion this year. The report also suggested that more businesses would embrace the space and that competition would increase. With this data in mind, does Groupon have what it takes to remain the leader?