Google, Amazon Play Catch-Up in Group Buying: Analysis and Reactions from BuyWithMe, Tippr

12/6/10Follow @gthuang

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role with BuyWithMe as a director. “People realized this is an international phenomenon. It’s not just a hundred billion dollar local space. There are applications in every country. There’s a lot of room for multiple players.”

BuyWithMe has positioned itself as sort of a thinking person’s Groupon—instead of daily deals, BuyWithMe runs its promotions for a full week. “The deals space is really about matchmaking and customer acquisition,” Moss says. “It’s not just the deal that matters, but the relationship you form between the customer and the merchant.”

To that end, the company is “clearly co-existing with Groupon” and is “very profitable in Boston,” Moss says, where some of its deals include vouchers to top gyms, spas, restaurants, and Duck Tours. The key to the success of BuyWithMe—and really the whole deals sector—is whether it will continue to pay off for local merchants.

That’s where the company’s focus on establishing stickier connections between retailers and customers (not just one-off deals) comes into play. So far, so good, says Moss, who says most of BuyWithMe’s promotions are profitable for merchants and should keep bringing in more long-term paying customers.

Whether the consumer brand or the technology platform is the right strategy to pursue, both Moss and Tobias agree that group buying is not a fad. And they dispute the idea that there are no barriers to entry. To Moss, the main barriers are scale and relationships with merchants and consumers. For Tobias, it’s the group-buying technology itself, plus the expertise in running the deals.

“This marketing tool is here to stay,” he says. “This is not a flash in the pan.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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  • Bob shrue

    An interesting complaint about tipprs technology and how they use. It made me think twice about the service provided. Actually I’ll only use 1 of the big 3 and avoid the lessor copycats/clones like tippr. Here you go: http://short-space.blogspot.com/2010/12/tippr-backstab.html

  • http://groupbuy.com Groupbuy

    It will only be a matter of time before we see the direction that the group buy market is going. If a company can obtain the majority of available email subscriptions available in a given market, then the company will own the majority of that market, discounted for those consumers who belong to multiple daily deal sites. After all, how many can one person join and not get sick and tired of all of them?

  • http://blogs.forbes.com/quickerbettertech/2010/12/06/online-group-buyings-need-for-speed/ Leigh

    http://blogs.forbes.com/quickerbettertech/2010/12/06/online-group-buyings-need-for-speed/

    While Groupon’s strong presence in the market is impressive, it is estimated that only 15 percent of Americans are presently visiting group-buying sites. It remains very early in the game, and there is still tremendous room for consumer usage and category growth by multiple players in this space.

  • Rory

    Groupon and similar sites like LivingSocial and BuyWithMe are a very popular trend. We’ll continue to see them cropping up all over the place. The big discounts they provide on products or services are good for consumers. A great way to find the best daily deals in your area is by using http://www.shopway.com. It’s much easier than checking all those emails or sites one by one.