What hoards of web services starting having success doing was using the internet to provide bulk buying without the bulk, giving consumers individual-level access to 50%-90% discounts. Typical deals last for a limited time only--say 24 hours--and apply to a specific local service such as a restaurant, spa, gym membership, city tour, or haircut.
Groupon and LivingSocial were among the most popular in the United States in 2009, with Groupon joining Wagjag and Teambuy.ca in Canada in 2010 then buying Europe's Citydeal and Chile's ClanDescuento.
The list of social commerce players has exploded and become downright overwhelming in certain cities. What does this all mean for you? That answer depends on where you are.
- If you're in a market that is "less developed," or you really like to just keep things simple, you're probably best off signing up for one or two major services, which generally provide the best deals.
- If you're in one of the very-developed "social commerce" markets like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or London, you could stop tracking all of the new sites and start having deals delivered to you that are specifically tailored to your tastes. By setting up preferences one time with Yipit.com, you can outsource deal hunting and filtering, receiving only those deals that are relevant to you in one single email digest. This can be helpful for those who like to minimize email and spam. While Yipit is inevitably going to miss an occasional deal of interest, that's a price I'm willing to pay to save my inbox.