SiliconFilter

Smart Move: Groupon Teams Up With Expedia to Launch Travel Deals Site

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Groupon today launched the newest addition to its group buying site: Groupon Getaways – a travel-focused deals site that’s powered by Expedia. There are, of course, already a number of similar sites on the market, with LivingSocial Escapes being one of the market leaders.

Thanks to its partnership with Expedia, though, Groupon will be in an extremely advantageous position to rival all of the other sites that took the basic Groupon model and applied it to travel before Groupon itself got a chance to do so.

Take this recent LivingSocial Escapes deal for a hotel in Mexico, for example. It’s a good deal and I’m sure LivingSocial will make some money off it, but given that nobody is going to drive to Cabo San Lucas, LivingSocial won’t make a dime of the travel arrangements that its users make to actually make use of this deal. Groupon and Expedia, on the other hand, can offer users a full-service travel service that doesn’t just include the deal, but also transportation to the location and tickets for local events and sights. Besides the money Groupon makes on selling these deals then, it could also get affiliate fees for when its users book their flights, for example.

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8:44 pm


AT&T Launches Most Boring Groupon Clone Yet

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Now that Google, Facebook, the New York Times and virtually every other company has launched some form of daily deals/group-buying site, AT&T is joining the fray today as well. According to Bloomberg, AT&T’s Groupon clone is launching in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas-Forth Worth  “within the coming weeks.” The service is hosted on AT&T’s YellowPages.com. If you sign up within the next twenty days, you will get a $10 credit towards your first purchase (which makes me think the service is launching somewhere around May 22nd).

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Innovation? Nope…

It’s hard not to look at AT&T’s site and wonder what it’s going to do that’s different from its competitors. Judging from what’s on the site right now, the answer is: zero. “The deals of the day are about solving everyday needs. Offers that make it easier to take the family out to dinner at that cute new diner. Finally dry-clean your wedding dress. Or get your car detailed after last month’s disastrous coffee run.”

Indeed, none of the recent Groupon clones have improved over the original model or brought any meaningful innovation to this space besides expanding the general concept into new niches (travel, shoes etc.). Facebook’s service is a bit more social (though that really only means it’s easier to share deals on Facebook), Google Offers is about as direct a clone as it could be, but in general, the idea is still the same and the sites often still hold up the pretense that these are “group-buying” sites and not just straight-up deals sites.

It’s hard not to imagine that consumers (and merchants) will soon get tired of this and restrict themselves to two or three general sites (Groupon, LivingSocial and maybe Google’s or Facebook’s offering) and another one or two niche services.



1:02 pm