Infographic: Are Deals Sites Here to Stay or Just the Latest Craze?

Are daily deals sites here to stay? There are a lot more people than just those holed up in Groupon's Chicago-based headquarters that hope so. Over the past couple of years, as we've seen Groupon's market value explode, more than 500 copycat websites have launched.

"Every shopper loves a good deal, which is why the popularity of daily deal sites has skyrocketed in the past several years. But for all the excitement, experts are divided on whether daily deals sites are here to stay or just the latest flash in the Internet's pan," according to the introduction from this new infographic released by G+. "Today, we explore the current state of daily deals websites, the rise of their popularity, and what the future might hold."

Here, G+ looks at how daily deals affect the market and the new generation of daily deals sites while performing a comparison of some of the players in this space to give readers a better sense of where this craze is heading.

Infographics are always a bit of a hodgepodge of statistics culled from a variety of sources. Here, we sort through the clutter and pull out some of our favorite facts and figures:

  • Groupon claims its value to merchants is in exposing them to new customers. However, this benefit may not be realistic. A recent study conducted by Rice University surveyed 324 small businesses that have partnered with daily deals sites. Although more than half of these businesses made money, 26.6 percent lost money. Another 17.9 percent broke even.
  • There are currently over 500 daily deal sites in America. Ninety percent of these sites are in fewer than 10 markets and 20 percent focus on just one market.
  • As daily deals websites proliferate, merchants face a tougher choice on where to promote their products and services. The tendency is to go with the biggest, most well known company -- Groupon -- but is that the best for all merchants? The average Groupon buyer is a 30-50 year old man or woman with a college education making around $50,000 a year.
  • From 2009 to 2011, searches on Google for daily deals have increased 448 percent.
  • Daily Deal sites differ in many ways -- strategy, audience and revenue. The two largest players in the daily deals arena are Groupon and LivingSocial. While Groupon has more users and generates more revenue, LivingSocial has a larger presence in metro areas. Smaller daily deal sites are focusing on different strategies, such as building a niche audience by location and interest.
  • Of all the 500-plus sites, just two -- Groupon and LivingSocial -- control 90 percent of the total daily deals traffic. Currently, the biggest player in the space is Groupon. In 2010, the site saw a 650 percent rise in popularity, with unique visits growing from two million in December 2009 to 15.6 million in December 2010.

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