Daily Deals Dissected: Where The Popular Offers Are And Who Is Buying


photo: /kallu

Daily deal websites are widely popular these days, helping millions of consumers save anywhere from 50% to 90% on a wide variety of services and goods: from facials and fitness classes to cakes, clothes and bicycle repair. 

With a slew of deals available on any given day, have you ever wondered who actually uses these websites or what the most popular deals are? We were curious to find out, so we reached out to the biggest players in the field. Here’s a glimpse at where daily deals are proliferating, which might in turn give us some clues on the types of deals and offers we can expect to see more of in the future.

Women Dominate

YipIt, the New York-based daily deal aggregator that works with many of the deal websites, is most popular among women between the age of 25 and 50, with college or graduate degrees, says Jim Moran, the site’s co-founder. The same goes for market leader Groupon.com, which says its demographics are comprised largely of 18- to 34-year olds. Washington D.C.-based LivingSocial, another heavy hitter in the space, describes its demographics as largely skewed toward women between the age of 18 and 65.

Why is it that women dominate that space? “There are more local services that target women,” says Moran. “Since these sites feature one deal per day, they try to pick offers that everyone on their list will like. Therefore, many sites just opt to serve the female market and offer mostly female-friendly deals.” Because of that, Moran says, men often “receive a subpar experience,” being bombarded with offers that don’t apply to them. 

And who, exactly, are these women that are hunting these sites daily, looking for a bargain? According to Groupon, its customers are socially active both in the online and offline world, with half of them going out twice or more a week.  They are frequent Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlet users.  Nearly half of Groupon’s customers are single, educated and have jobs. Nearly a third (29%) earn more than $100,000 a year. And, as we mentioned already, the vast majority —  a whopping 77% — are women.

Where The Deals Are

Groupon boasts over 40 million subscribers with 19 million coupons sold so far, saving customers $820 million. What are its customers buying? Julie Mossler, a company spokeswoman,  says restaurants, health and beauty, and activities are its most popular categories. Offers for services like pet daycare, however, not so much. “We learned over time that people don’t want to experiment with who is watching their animal,” she says.

Groupon’s most successful deal to date has been from Nordstrom Rack, which offered $50 coupons for $25. The deal sold 621,000 coupons in one day.

Meanwhile, LivingSocial spokeswoman Korina Buhler told us that the site’s demographics doesn’t stop it from offering deals catered toward everyone. “Some days we have offers for oil changes and others we have spa packages,” she says.

To date, LivingSocial’s most popular deal has been in Washington D.C., where SweetGreens, an organic casual dining restaurant offered a $40 coupon for $20 and sold more than 10,000 vouchers.

The company has been creating excursions and branching into other areas to reach a wider audience, recently launching LivingSocial Family Edition, Campus Deals and LivingSocial Escapes.   “Our members will find everything from restaurants, spas, clothing and yoga to experience like Shootin’ and Drinkin’ and inns and B&Bs,” says Buhler.  Shootin’ and Drinkin’, likely targeted more to men (or gun toting women), is an excursion where members skeet shoot early in the day and taste scotch afterwards by a local scotch master.

YipIt, which also tracks deals based on popularity, found that city tours, hair removal and spa deals are some of the most successful ones, while theater tickets and fashion haven’t done as well.

YipIt’s most popular deal to date in the New York metro area was 54% off a luxury spa package for $125 offered by Travelzoo, with 2,033 offers sold.

What and where are your favorite daily deals? Let us know in the comments.

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