Groupon copycats

 groupon Pictures, Images and Photos
A growing fad on the internet has or is about to reach its peak. You likely have heard of the wildly successful online company called Groupon. It is a website that offers one discount per day on a random product or service from a local business and requires a certain number of participants to become “on”. I won’t get into the details of how exactly it works because that is not the point here. Groupon is the first one of these sites, at least the first to be hugely successful. Just recently is rejected a buyout offer from Google for about $6 billion.

As often happens in business, an innovative business idea sparks a fad which results in swarms of copycats. When someone sees a company achieve success with a business strategy that seems fairly easy to imitate, everyone and their uncle thinks they can do it too. As is always the case in this situation, everyone else fights for a relatively small piece of the pie left over by the original company, in this case Groupon.

You will begin to see these companies start to die out as they realize that it’s not as easy as it looks and that copying someone else’s idea is not nearly as good as coming up with an idea themselves. That is not to say that all the copycats will fail. There will be and have already been a very select few that have achieved some success, but most will end up failing. There are so many of these websites out there now that there are even directories for them. From the dozens of copycat sites that I’ve seen in this space, virtually all of them didn’t even try to stand out and instead copied the look of Groupon’s website in addition to the structure, strategy and business model. We will see how many of these copycat sites are still in business in 12 months from now and how many of them were able to get lucky and achieve some level of success. I suspect the numbers will be very small.