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OZ Gets Its Group-on, Spends $0.5bn

The revenues of Groupon (the confirmed king of group buying), Scoopon, LivingSocial, Cudo, and OurDeal, grew almost 10% combined compared to 2011 and between them generated more than 75% of the market revenue.

Groupon and Scoopon have seen the biggest surge –  a massive 40 per cent growth year-on-year combined, and are now No.1 and No. 2 players, respectively, in the group buying market.

Australians spent $504 million on group buying deals in 2012, according to local technology analysts Telsyte.

However, has trust among consumer increased in group deals after the backlash last year?

“General confidence in group buying is growing,” analyst Sam Yip told SmartHouse.

“The industry is maturing and there are more checks and balances for consumers and merchants today than there was 24 months ago.”
The fastest growing segments were retail products, and local deals for anything from food, to massages to a jetboating ride.

Top retail products being bought on group deals from Scoopon, Groupon and Co were consumer electronics, fashion and homewares, says Yip. 

And branded goods are also on the rise, with Telsyte noting “a shift from non-branded generic product to sites selling branded retail goods.”

Tickets to events and subscriptions to magazines and services like golf memberships are also the “emerging stars”, says YIP, while local health, beauty, restaurant deals continue to be strong.

Telsyte is also predicting Groupon and Co to flog more local event based offers.

Group buying has evolved from a “simple promotional concept to a core segment delivering growth to the overall local eCommerce market,” says Yip, since it first hit OZ in 2009.

Changes in market conditions and “aggressive” consolidation during the past six months delivered a “modest” 1.4% rise in group deal revenues, compared to 2011.

50 group deal sites have been eliminated since the group buying concept began here and around 30 are operating today, but increased competition is expected to continue and create pressure on smaller group buying sites. 

And Telsyte expects this market domination of the big 5 to continue, and the industry to remain “steady” at around $500 million  revenue this year.

Although group buying growth rose jsut1.4%, the industry is showing further signs of rebounding in the past two quarters after three consecutive quarters of deline between the end of 2011-mid 2012.

Australians spent more than $130 million on deals from Groupon and Co in the October-December period in 2012 alone.

“Industry growth has come from increased mobile transactions, new merchants, increased consumer satisfaction due to better quality customer service and growing consumer confidence in the main sites,” says Yip.

The Australian group buying market has generated over $1billion in revenue since its inception three years ago.