Why 2011 is Groupon’s year

Groupon is already a popular web service with over 35 million members worldwide. Since its founding in 2008, the site’s growth has occurred at a remarkable rate, and while there are millions of people who already use Groupon, I think that this is the year the site truly explodes and becomes ubiquitous within our society.

I realize social networking is different than Groupon, but it is interesting as the popularity of Facebook and Twitter have grown, that

As an example, there are lots of people who know about Twitter but who don’t use Twitter and who have never had Twitter accounts. With Groupon, I believe that 2011 will be the year where it trul

The reasons why Groupon will explode so dramatically this year:

1. While people have obviously known about Groupon before now, I feel like this will be the year where the stie truly breaks through the fabric of popular culture and becomes ubiquitous within our society. As more people start to realize the idea is about saving money and how easy Groupon is to use, the numbers of registered users will continue to shoot. Think of it like Facebook’s expansion, but coupons instead of social networking.

2. More and more people are going to have access to the site. In the U.S., Groupon is available in over 150 cities and can be found globally in 27 countries (both figures according to Wikipedia).

3. Their advertisements are going to tighten up this year. Earlier this month, it was announced that people are going to have more customization options in terms of which groupon offers are sent to them. I feel like the fact that this hasn’t happened already is in large part due to the phenomenol success of the site so far, and difficulties in keeping up with huge demand from businesses to partner with Groupon.

It only makes sense to send Groupon offers where there is a higher likelihood the person will use them. For instance, where I live (Columbus, OH), my January 3 Gruopon offer was this:

WOW!

An 86% discount on spider vein removal treatments. That’s a great deal.

However: I don’t have spider veins (at least I don’t think I do, but that seems like one of those medical conditions where: if you think there is a possibility you might have it, then, you have it).

Smarter advertising will add even more street cred to the already popular site. And it will help to..

4. Get more men signed up. Over three quarters of Groupon users are women. It will be important as the site utilizes more targeted coupon offers to start having “manlier” things.

I love Groupon but I feel like some of their offers are things that men would have absolutely no interest in such as: spa treatments and cheap Justin Bieber t-shirts.

5. Grocery stores and other retailers are starting to catch on to the idea of people using their phones as the actual coupon instead of physically printing or cutting something out. This will work well with Groupon.

6. For any social site to work, it needs to have a cool factor. Groupon has it. As U.S. News and World Report mentioned this fall, a lot of people who use Groupon are not necessarily the common “coupon clipping” percentage of the population. A lot of Groupon users are younger and the site is going to continue getting more and more popular with older users as they hear about it from their younger children, coworkers, and great grandchildren.

In many ways, the growth potential of this site reminds me of Facebook. In its first year, it went from 0 to around 1.5 million users. Now – a year after that – the site is over 35 million users. I think it is very much within the realm of possibility that the site could be over 150 million users by the end of this year.

1.5 million to 35 million

In March, the site was available in 40 cities and the goal of founder Andrew Mason was to be in 100 cities by the end of last year (they ended up being in over 150).

In case you are unfamiliar: Groupon is a site that offers a daily deal, a coupon to a local business. The deal is always at least 1/2 off on a good or service. There are a minimum number of people who must signup for that day’s offer in order to activate the Groupon. In short: the consumer is saving money and learning about new stores/places/things, and the small business is making money.

jrb

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