Today I have passed by Stardeals.com.au web site (that is the name that Groupon has to use in Australia) and have discovered that they finally started to sell something real!
There are current deals advertised for for Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcaste and Canberra plus a National Deal. If we dig a bit deeper however, appeared that so far site is really working for Sydney only, where more than dozen past deals reported plus a bit for Melbourne (1 deal). For other the deals showed in fact are national as I see.
Regarding Sydney the progress is not bad, from past deal most popular really local deal (10-day Pass to fitness centre) was sold 776 times, first deals started from just 108 purchases.
Group buying industry is booming in Australia according recent research of Telsyte (business unit of Gibson Quai-AAS Consulting) and the market will grow 284% this year.
The research covers over 20 group buying web sites that offer heavily discounted group deals for Australians. Over 79% of the market share reported to be taken by four leading players (Spreets, Scoopon, Jump On It, and Cudo).
This figures correspond quite well with the study that we did last fall.
Telsyte makes some interesting forecasts about future industry trends, namely (my comments are in the brackets):
• Arrival of large online multi-nationals such as Google, Facebook and Groupon into the local group buying market (actually GroupOn is already here).
• Agencies representing merchants in deal negations and analytics.
• Proliferation of mobile group buying applications (at least Scoopon and one new smaller – CrowdSauce already have iPhone apps).
• Local media publishers entering the group buying industry through white-label software platforms, acquisitions, or distribution partnerships (we also already see it, with Telstra/Sensis that launched YellowPage Offers).
Group buying industry in Australia becomes more and more interesting. In addition to the legal fight between GroupOn and Scoopon we may see one more battle.
One of group buying web site, Cudo.com.au sent “cease and desists” letter to Buyii.com.au, a web site that aggregates daily deals from several sources. Cudo requested Buyii to stop use of it’s content including logo, photos, texts. Cudo management consider that such use violates their copywrite and that Buyii compete with Cudo in term of search engine optimization. According Cudo CEO, Billy Tucker, when users search for the word “Cudo”, Buyii shows up in the first few results with the description, “Cudo’s daily deals plus more deals from other daily deal sites on one page”. I have checked it, today in Google Australia Buyii appears 5th in organic search results. Quite an interesting story, now I start to care about getting a letter from GroupOn, because this blog appears 1st if you search for StarDeals 🙂
However, Buyii founder refuses to comply with Cudo’s demands and plan to show Cudo’s deals in the future, while did some changes in the site design (like removed Cudo’s logo from their home page).
Would be interesting to see how the conflict develops.
More details can be found in SmartCompany’s article
20 January 2011 Yahoo! announced purchase of Spreets, one of the most successful group buying web sites in Australia (according Altima Interactive research and opinions of other market participants and observers).
According the official press-release published at Yahoo!7 corporate web site Spreets has 500,000 subscribers and sales of 274,000 vauchers since it’s inception.
The financial terms of deal are not disclosed in official PR, but according to SmartCompany the price that Yahoo!7 pays is around $40 million.
As we wrote before, GroupOn came to Australia as StarDeals.Com.Au. Yesterday Andrew Mason, the founder and CEO of GroupOn wrote about it in GroupOn blog He wrote that sorry for delay (to enter Australia) and blames ScoopOn in making life difficult for GroupOn:
“Scoopon went a little further than just starting their Groupon clone – they actually purchased the Groupon.com.au domain name, took the company name Groupon Pty Limited, and tried to register the Groupon trademark (filing for the trademark just seven days before us) in Australia.”
Mason mentioned that they offered $286K to ScoopOn for domain name and trademark and initially Scoopon owners had agreed, but later changed their mind. So now, according to GroupOn CEO, they have no other choice than suit ScoopOn in court. The case will be heard Feb 05 in state of Illinois court according SmartCompany. Scoopon chief executive Gabby Leibovich is confident in his company position, he said to SmartCompany:
“Groupon’s attempt to try and have this matter ‘determined’ in the court of public opinion is unfortunate and possibly amounts to sub-judice. As the matters in dispute are presently before the court, it is inappropriate to publicly comment on matters before the court.”
R2i surveyed 296 marketing professionals in Nov 2010 and 45 percent stated that time and resources would be their greatest combined challenge in 2011. Forty two percent stated that time and resources were the greatest barriers to entry into social media, and 38 percent that their biggest mistake with social media was not allocating proper time and resources. One possible reason for this conundrum may stem from companies trying to be all things to all people in all places, which is simply a time and resource impossibility for programmatic social media marketing. By optimizing scale and relevance within their social media programs, marketers can better devise and execute on activities that are necessary for effective social media marketing, such as strategy development, headcount allocation, and content creation.
Due to my interest to group buying industry, I try to watch regularly new sites that appearing in this arena in Australia. Today I made a search in Google and noticed new web site (in one of the Adwords), StarDeals.com.au
To my big surprise, when I opened it I see the next picture:
So finally it has happened, GroupOn came to Australia. All tells that the site was just launched:
current deal as well as two closed deals so far and both looks like samples rather than real (same picture and dummy text, GroupOn Chicago address);
today sample deal is marked as ‘sold out’ in the middle of the day and with just 20 coupon purchased;
only Sydney is covered;
contact emaisl weren’t set up (I tried to write them but get bounces);
non-working links to Twitter, RSS and Facebook page (at the bottom)
Interesting to note that domain stardeals.com.au is registered by Groupon Europe GmbH.
We’ll see how it will develop, but if this is real attempt to launch in Australia, not a kind of exercise, it looks rather strange: why advertise in Google obviously ‘under constraction’ kind of site. Probably the reason is to start collecting subscribers database, but it can be done in a simpler way, with kind of “coming soon, leave your email’ temporary web page rather then unfinished piece of work with broken links.
BTW, registration is working, I have got a confirmation by email from … GroupOn Singapore;
if you click to Adword (it is still active, use ‘deals melbourne’ as keywords to see it) in fact you will see a page looks more similar to pre-launch one (with email deals subscription), but after you enter an email you see the site as I described
I admit that noticed this interesting article a bit late (it is dated end of November), but later is better than never. So, Patrick Stafford from SmartCompany wrote a good, comprehencive review of group buying industry in Australia.
It’s a pretty long article that gives ABC of the group buying model and reviews the state of market in Australia, so I would recommend everybody interested in the industry to check it. Especially agreeable, that Patric cited our research (while unfortunately forget to put a link to it).
Some most interesting quotes from the article:
Spreets, JumpOnIt and Scoopon are biggest players (opinion match our research);
As SmartCompany wrote today, there are strong rumors that Google purchased GroupOn for 2.5 billion USD. The deal supposedly was closed earlier this month. Interesting to note, that earlier GroupOn reportedly rejected on offer from Yahoo! (US$1.7 billion).
GroupOn is a pioneer of group buyng, with over 20 million customers in 29 countries.
As I wrote earlier, there are many GroupOn followers in Australia, biggest five were analyzed in our report
Update: new rumors circulating indicate that GroupOn’s purchase price will be even higher, $US6 billion! If it is true it will be the biggers Google purchase!
Update2: GroupOn board decided to decline deal with Google. Things are getting even more interesting, some people start to believe that it is the milestone, marking the end of the Google Era in Internet.