Groupon down 50% LivingSocial up 27%

With all the debate and speculation regarding Groupon and its planned IPO, I thought it would be a great time to check back in with our previous analysis of traffic to Groupon and its nearest competitor Living Social.

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First, to be clear, the above chart measures web-based traffic to both domains and does not include mobile or app specific traffic.

Regardless of these exclusions, the drop-off in Groupon traffic this summer has been significant nearly 50% since its peak in the second week of June 2011 compared to last week. During the same time, Living Social has achieved 27% growth in visits to its site. Overall visits to a custom category of Daily Deal & Aggregator sites were down 25% for the same time.

So why is there a narrowing of the gap between the two market leaders in group coupons? Perhaps it is simply a case of increased number of competitors and deal fatigue among consumers or simply not enough of the right deals. PriceGrabber® released results from its Local Deals Survey in June, stating that 44% of respondents said they use or search daily deal Websites. However, 52% expressed feeling overwhelmed by the number of bargain-boasting emails they receive on a daily basis.

While consumer fatigue may be one factor another key consideration for these sites is to focus on the attracting new and preferred audience segments via the inbox. Currently the audience segments for both Groupon and Living Social are very similar so it will be interesting to see how both sites and category perform heading into the holiday season.