Groupon Inspires A Slew of Niche Copycats


With 60 million subscribers and nearly a $1 billion in venture capital, Groupon has inspired literally hundreds of copycat businesses based on its super-successful daily-deal discount model.  What’s interesting about the many, many spin-offs is that, rather than going for the broad audience, like Groupon, many of them are tailored to highly specific demographics.

Some competitors remain similar – LivingSocial offers discounts all around the country, and has teamed up with Amazon for a $175 million deal.  In contrast, there are businesses like PetSimply, which was founded by rescue-dog owners and focuses solely on pet supplies.  When subscribers refer friends to the site and successfully spur a purchase, PetSimply makes a $4 donation to an animal charity, in addition to providing the standard discount or credit.

The proliferation of deals sites for highly targeted audiences makes this seem like a trend not going away anytime soon — the same goes for the secondary businesses that feed off them.  Aggregators like Bing and Yipit, for example, make the wide sea of deals navigable.  But perhaps most telling, there’s even a consignment type site catering to the market. Lifesta lets shoppers unload deals – for a fee – that they realized they didn’t even want in the first place.