Groupon Inc. and LivingSocial, the leading daily-deal providers, had fewer weekly unique visitors in August than in mid-June, at the peak, with LivingSocial’s tally dropping at a faster pace, according to ComScore Inc. (SCOR)
Groupon, which plans an initial public offering, had 4.01 million unique visitors in the week that ended Aug. 21, according to Reston, Virginia-based ComScore. While that’s lower than 5.13 million for the week that ended June 12, it’s higher than the tally for the first week of the year.
LivingSocial, which is weighing an IPO, had 1.81 million unique visitors in the Aug. 21 period, down from 3.94 million in mid-June, and less than 2.08 million at the beginning of the year.
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Interesting news from ComScore regarding Groupon and LivingSocial website traffic. Visitors have dropped from a June peak and are approaching January-level figures. What does this mean? Are they falling victims to the rapidly increasing competition in the marketplace? Probably. Much like other early online marketplaces, Groupon and LivingSocial are now battling not only giant competitors such as Google and Facebook, but they also are seeing a growing number of niche group-buying companies sprouting up (seemingly weekly). Those are a lot of battles to fight as a start-up while still also trying to increase their own market share.
But one other possible explanation for the drop in traffic could be increased use of mobile apps and platforms. There is no doubt that consumers are continuing to use apps more and more so established Groupon and LivingSocial customers who have the apps may be utilizing them to purchase deals more than the website.
Regardless, it’s an interesting data point and may be remembered as the tipping point (from a negative standpoint) for each company in this exciting space.