Good news! After 18 months of discussion, Living Social have finally come on board and now complete the picture to ensure that Buyometric really is providing a selection of ALL the best deals from across the UK.
Living Social has a huge range of offers to suit every type of deal fan and now those offers are available in your “daily dose of deals” courtesy of Buyometric. From local offers on restaurants, spas, and haircuts to national brand products, luxurious escapes and fantastic family experiences – there’s something for everyone.
So, what took us so long?
Living Social are a US company, and in early 2011, a decision in their Washington DC head office was taken to steer clear of working with deal aggregators. However the popularity of Buyometric in the UK has reached across the pond, and with the support of the Living Social UK team we’ve joined up with them in a strategic partnership that will see our users benefit from more choice than anywhere else.
We went to meet the guys and girls over at the Living Social UK head offices, and I have to say – I was impressed.
Signing in on a brand new iPad, before being shown to the “Social” bar was great, but passing the games room – Table Tennis, Foosball and Arcade Dance Machines – before dropping by the “picnic” meeting room (grass floors, picnic tables and sundrenched skies), made me realise that our own humble London Bridge office has a long way to go.
There was a definite sense of pride and achievement and we’re confident that this will shine through in the quality of the offers we’re now sharing with you.
To celebrate this new partnership and to show how ecstatic we are to be working together, we’re giving away £100 worth of Living Social vouchers to one lucky winner to be selected at random from anyone who purchases a Living Social deal through Buyometric before the 9th July 2012. Terms can be found here.
There is a great deal of speculation over where the daily deals industry is headed in 2012. Groupon’s IPO and Living Social’s recent fundraising activity have renewed talk of a bubble. Niche start-ups are entering the space on a daily basis, while longer standing competitors are dropping out of the race with increasing frequency.
In the UK an estimated 7 million people subscribe to daily deal websites. What will these consumers expect to see over the coming 12 months, and what opportunities exist to see additional growth?
As the UK’s largest aggregator of daily deals, Buyometric has a unique overview of the whole industry. We aggregate deals from most of the key UK players – from market leaders to tiny regional start-ups.
Overall, we expect further growth in consumers’ use of daily deal sites. The pressure on household budgets will increase through out 2012, with rising unemployment and the fact that pay rises almost certainly won’t keep up with the rising cost of living. Daily deals will benefit from an overall increase in the usage of money saving websites.
A key growth strategy for the largest daily deal providers will be a continued expansion in their areas of coverage, and increasing the number of deals available across the categories. Groupon remain, by far, the largest provider in the UK with twice the geographic coverage of any other player. Where they have trail blazed, others will follow. Large areas of the UK remain un-served by any local deal providers at all.
While the larger players with access to sufficient funding and marketing muscle will continue to expand, we expect some fall-out as smaller non-specialist daily deal websites drop out of the race or are swallowed up by the larger providers. Some daily deal sites have business models that are not economic. For instance Crowdity, Keynoir and Kelkoo Select have left the race recently (acquired by Wowcher and Time Out respectively) and we expect more buy-outs to follow as the larger sites look to grow their user bases in a cost effective way. Wowcher, Time Out and Money Supermarket will be the main beneficiaries of this consolidation and are rising stars to watch in 2012.
One area where we expect to see growth in 2012 is men’s deals. In recent research conducted by Buyometric, we found that women were on average over 40% more likely than men to be subscribers to the three leading daily deal sites – Groupon, Living Social and KGB Deals. Men are turned off by the untargeted nature of the main deal providers and so new male focused offerings, or better targeting by existing providers will be necessary to engage this group.
Ultra specific daily deal sites will continue to spring up in 2012, often being tied to an existing community website. Look for hobby niches such as golf (e.g. Daily Golf Deal), attitude niches such as environmental, or demographic niches such as mother & baby. However, unless they have a solid marketing plan or access to a large number of users, they will struggle to reach profitability. Sites with a small userbase will find it difficult to negotiate the commissions needed and sell in sufficient quantities to pay for sales staff. Without the sales staff, they won’t be able to negotiate enough deals to keep users making purchases. It’s a vicious circle.
We expect the continued growth of the aggregator in 2012 as users of daily deal sites get bored of receiving several emails a day and look at ways of consolidating the information about deals into one place. Our research1 found that over 50% of subscribers to daily deal providers receive 5 or more deal emails every day, and two thirds (67%) say that they do not always read them. The aggregator market will intensify, with an increasing number of intelligent “targeted” services replacing the current simple listing solutions. Expect to see larger international aggregators extending their reach into the UK, and vice versa.
The main daily deal sites will also start to offer some limited attempts at personalization, however it will still be in their interests to present their users with as many deals as possible, on the off-chance that they will be interested.
Even if the overall number of UK subscribers does not grow, sales growth of at least 20-30% can be expected just from existing users, since there are many sitting on the sidelines without having made a purchase yet, who can be expected to get involved in 2012. Our research in November and December 2011 identified that whilst only 69% of subscribers to daily deal websites had already bought a deal, 96% said they planned to make a purchase in the next 12 months. Much of this growth should come from men, who have not been best served by daily deal sites to date.
Our final prediction is that as a consumer, you’ll find yourself presented with daily deal buying opportunities in a lot more of your favourite places in 2012. Even if you didn’t think this was possible, you’ll soon see your own favourite websites such as local discussion groups and special interest sites re-packaging relevant deals from multiple suppliers in order to monetise their traffic. White-labelling of daily deals will become the trend of 2012.
It was announced today that the Office of Fair Trading are to investigate Groupon over claims that they have mis-advertised some deals. We’ve just completed a survey of over 1,000 users of daily deals [more about this in future blog posts], and we found that, out of over 400 users who had recently purchased a Groupon deal, only 4% reported that “the product or service was disappointing or not as promised”. That’s 96% who had no issue with the description provided by Groupon.
Of course, it is always really important to read the fine print on daily deals to avoid disappointment, and we would not like to pre-empt the result of the OFT investigation, but we are very happy if this investigation leads to all daily deals providers being a bit more careful with their claims.
As a reminder, if you do have any problem with a daily deal, make sure you take up the problem with the daily deal website. We at Buyometric can help our users with this, if you’re having any trouble. We send hundreds of transactions to Groupon every week, and we’ve found Groupon customer service to be particularly good at rectifying issues with customers if anything goes wrong with a deal. But we’re also here to help you through your issue and take up your cause if necessary. Hopefully a bit more reassurance for our users.
We’re aware of some problems with the Groupon website. It seems that our users have been unable to access Groupon deal pages since approximately 11am. If you’re hankering after a particular offer please keep trying – Groupon are working hard on the problem!
Update – Groupon is now back online after a period of downtime between 11am and 1pm.
This is a word of warning about using group buying sites. That may seem like a weird thing for us to write about – after all Buyometric is a site which aggregates group buying sites, and we really want you to use them! But, just like in many areas of life, sometimes a badly behaved minority can give the majority a bad name. It’s worth exercising some caution in using group buying and daily deal sites, and that’s why filtering the sites with Buyometric can give you more confidence that you’re (most likely) buying from a reputable site.
The group buying sites and daily deal sites which we bring together on our site are generally trustworthy. We can’t make any guarantees (we wish we could), however if we get any complaints from our users, we will always follow them up, and if necessary, we’ll take the offending site off our website and out of our daily emails.
But we know some group buying sites can get a bad press, especially if you search through some of the online forums. Here are some examples of issues that have been reported with some group buying sites.
Firstly, a company can go out of business before you’ve had the opportunity to use their voucher. Obviously it’s possible for this to happen, but it’s a bit of a myth that companies participate in a voucher scheme only when they’re down on their luck. Many successful businesses also participate in very low priced daily deals, and they do this to introduce new customers to their business. However we’d advise you to be just as careful buying a voucher for a company’s services through a group buying site, as if you were buying the voucher directly from the company itself. It’s not always possible for the voucher provider to compensate you if the business does go bust.
Secondly, people have reported that it can sometimes be difficult to book in appointments (eg a reservation for a restaurant, or an appointment for beauty treatment) at convenient times because the business that has issued vouchers suddenly has huge demand which it can’t cope with.
It is worth bearing in mind that if you have very limited times available when you could use the voucher, the business may not have appointments at the times that suit you. However the main daily deal sites are very careful when setting up deals that they do not create demand that the business can’t cope with. If you do have a problem making a reservation, most sites (eg Groupon) will give you a chance to get a refund within 7 days of buying the voucher. Check the terms and conditions of the group buying site carefully if you have any concerns about this.
In reality, the number of issues we hear about through Buyometric is absolutely tiny (and we help to sell a lot of deals!). When there is an issue, it is usually a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved.
And it’s worth remembering, these sites (including the US versions) sell many thousands of deals every day. So although problems do occur, they are few and far between.
We’d advise you always to use these sites with your eyes open wide, to be an active consumer, complaining confidently if anything goes wrong, and knowing what your consumer rights are.
Using Buyometric gives you a measure of confidence as we monitor the behaviour of the sites we use – but as we don’t take your money, we are unable to offer any refunds directly. Please do let us know if anything goes wrong and we’ll always do our best to help you.
Group buying websites have been around for a couple of years, although they’ve only really reached the mainstream in the last year.
Which are the group buying sites?
The largest group buying websites in the UK are Groupon, LivingSocial and KGB Deals, but there’s also a long list of smaller sites, some specialising in particular locations or particular types of deal (eg Wahanda, who specialise in health and wellbeing). What’s more, Facebook and Google are both launching services in this area, so it’s continuing to grow.
Why is group buying so popular?
Group buying sites put together special deals for their users – which are typically only available for one day – with very attractive discounts, usually at least 40% and sometimes up to 90% off the normal price. The discounts are available because consumers buy together (hence ‘group buying’), earning bulk discounts. Many new and small businesses offer great discounts through group buying sites because it is a good way for them to promote their business to a much wider audience than would normally be possible – helping them to expand.
How do you find out about deals?
To get notified of group buying deals, you’d normally sign up to receive a daily email from each group buying site.
However, this can mean you start receiving daily emails from an ever-increasing list of websites. That’s why Buyometric exists – to cut down on your email clutter and consolidate all the deals you’re interested in into one single daily email.
We also allow you to say ‘no’ to all the types of deal you know you won’t want, by telling us what you do and don’t want to hear about.
How do you pay for deals?
If you see a deal you like, you have to act quickly as the deals expire within 24 hours, or less commonly within a week. You’ll have to enter your credit card details to the group buying site directly, and in return you’ll receive a voucher for the deal which is valid for 6 months.
Obviously if you’re handing over your credit card details to a group buying site, you’ll want to know that they’re not a fly-by-night operation. That’s another great reason for using Buyometric to find your deals. We investigate any complaints or rumours we hear about any group buying website, and if there’s any doubt that they are legitimate, we won’t include them on our site (and will report them to the appropriate authority).*
*Unfortunately we can’t give you any guarantees about any company you may be referred to from our site (and we can’t give you your money back, because we don’t take your money), but we will give you our assurance that we will personally investigate problems and issues you may have with any third party site featured on our site, if you have been introduced to them by us.
We’re constantly adding new daily deals providers to the site so I wanted to keep you posted on who’s who and our latest additions.
Groupon and KGB Deals were among the first people to launch their deals with us and as two of the leading names in the daily deals space, provide us with a high volume of deals to present to you. Ranging from restaurants, theatres, spas, stores, experiences and special events, there’s something for everyone.
The more merchants we work with the greater the number of deals that become available and the more chance we have of finding that perfect deal for you.
Don’t panic though – We ensure that by providing you with a tagging system, we can eliminate the deals that really aren’t for you. So if you don’t want to know about Spa Deals, simply don’t tag “Spas” – problem solved – you don’t receive deals relating to Spas.
Perhaps you’re ONLY interested in teeth whitening. No problem, make sure you ONLY have “Teeth Whitening” tagged and though few and far between, you’ll only receive an email from us alerting you when a great teeth whitening deal is on offer.
I’m sure you’ll love using Buyometric to source great deals, but if you have any problems, please feel free to contact any of us through our blog or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
check back soon…