Daily deal sites, group buying sites and coupon sites are taking the Web by storm. It comes as no surprise that in an uncertain economy consumers are going to great lengths to save every penny they can. But the fever-pitch enthusiasm with which shoppers are devouring daily deals offered by sites such as Groupon has reached a level that few could have predicted.
Less than two years old and already valued at over $1 billion, Groupon owns the space with more than 40 percent of the overall traffic according to Experian. But the startup’s historic success has spawned an entire industry filled with competitors, aggregators, innovators and imitators. The final word on who stays and who goes is left to the users, who are knocking each other over to find new deals and make more transactions.
This kind of excitement and buying activity generally creates a rich affiliate environment, and the daily deals affiliate market is still developing. Below are five of the leading sites that pay affiliates for referring users to their daily deals and coupons:
Daily deals are now distributed in more than 100 cities and can earn partners up to 20 percent commissions through the Commission Junction affiliate network. Affiliates can simply install geo-targeted widgets or smart links onto their sites. The company’s now famous Gap coupon, its first national deal, reached more than 800,000 sales and was going at a rate of 10 per second at one point.
Widely referred to as Groupon’s closest competitor in the space, LivingSocial receives about 20 percent of the overall traffic from daily deal-seekers. Affiliate partners can choose from an assortment of links and banners provided by LivingSocial and have them customized to match the look and feel of their own pages, earning cash for every sale made from their site.
The next two sites have been recognized recently for moving themselves ahead of the pack that has formed beneath Groupon and LivingSocial. Both are looking at about five percent of the total traffic in the space and have managed to engage users with their deal-making capabilities and affiliate partners with their earning abilities. KGB’s program is run through the Google Affiliate Network.
Tippr provides a full range of services for its partners so as not to compromise the uniqueness of their own sites and content. From the technical to the creative to merchant coordination and payment processing, Tippr’s team does most of the work so its affiliates can run their businesses and websites.
Coupons.com offers a daily deal on products and services from major brands and local businesses around the U.S. and has a network of thousands of affiliate marketers that can publish the actual coupons on their sites. The coupons are chosen to match the partner’s content, site design and geography, and a payout is earned for every coupon printed.
Groupon created the business model and started the trend in late 2008, and these are some of the companies having the most success with it today. Others worthy of a look for their own daily deals and subsequent affiliate offerings include OpenTable, Yelp, Travelzoo and Woot, now part of Amazon.