UPDATE: For a great comparison of these local deal sites, check out this (infographic) from OnlineMBA!
American Express’ current competitor to Groupon is American Express Daily Wish, which offers deals focused around luxury and high end items like designer clothes and shoes, while AOL has WOW! at Wow.com, which offers national deals very similar to Groupon.
Just 5 weeks ago we were introduced to Facebook Deals. Just this past Wednesday, Google launched its Groupon competitor Google Offers. And just yesterday, Amazon announced that they too would be jumping on the local, daily-deal bandwagon, with AmazonLocal.
AmazonLocal is currently only available available in Boise, Idaho. Why Boise? We think because it would be an easy-to-test, small market, but AmazonLocal credits Boise State's blue football field. Similar to other local deal sites, they offer discounts of 50% or more at local businesses.
The difference between AmazonLocal and other Groupon-like sites: Amazon doesn't currently sell the deals themselves. Yesterday's $13 credit at Goody's Ice Cream for $6, was actually sold by LivingSocial (who Amazon has invested in) using Amazon's site. Although AmazonLocal can currently be viewed as a deals aggregator, they have plans to run Amazon-sourced deals in the future.
This has been a huge topic lately. With more and more sites launching their take on this local-deal phenomenon. It almost gets overwhelming as to which deal sites to look at and which will be of best use to you, depending on where you live.
The 6 Leading Local Deal Sites include:
Groupon: Probably the most well-known with deals in over 170 cities, as well as national deals available daily.
Living Social: One of the first in this trend, they too offer national deals as well as deals in over 270 cities in North America.
Facebook Deals: Available in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco, users will be able to purchase local deals based on group activities. A huge perk for Facebook, it will be extremely easy for users to share these deals with friends through wall posts and link sharing.
Google Offers: Announced Wednesday and only available in Portland, they may integrate Google Wallet and perhaps Google Maps into their site.
AmazonLocal: Currently more of an aggregator and only available in Boise, Idaho, they sell deals from other sites.
AT&T: They offer a daily deal, when you register through YellowPages.com, which relies on a certain number of people buying it. These deals focus on local deals for your daily needs.
Is this trend good or bad?
Arguably, we can say the more deal sites the better - this is true for consumer and deal-lovers, but it might not be the best option for these businesses. While Groupon seems to be leading the way with innovative ideas like Groupon Now!, other sites seem to be rushing to jump into this trend and therefore might not have a strong gameplan to really resonate with readers. AmazonLocal is a great example of this. Like the New York Times, Daily Candy and Thrillist, AmazonLocal is outsourced which makes it harder for its service to be unique or worth using.
The deal sites that may struggle the most are those that don't primarily focus on the deals. Google and Facebook, for example, seem to have started sites to directly compete with Groupon, however this is not the main focus of their business. Other sites are completely devoted to these local deals, giving them the edge they need to become the number one name in local deals.
In any case, this means more deals at more places for YOU, the consumer. Take advantage, but remember to research these deals to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck!