Microsoft Bing is the latest to delve into local daily deals, which it collects from The DealMap to tempt mobile phone users. Bing joins Google, Yahoo and Facebook in aping Groupon.
a touch of Groupon's magic these days, and who can blame them? Analysts see the
market for coupons offered to users based on their proximity to local businesses
blossoming to become a multibillion-dollar market.
Microsoft have bought in, so to speak, though the Internet rivals have taken
markedly different paths to providing local deals to their Web service
March 3 added
a deals tab to its Bing search engine to
let iPhone and Android phone users receive daily discounts to neighborhood
Users will see
discounts for restaurants-for example, $25
for $50 worth of fare-and other shops appear on Bing's "m.bing.com"
homepage from their smartphones.
offers aren't generated by any Microsoft couponing service the way Groupon has
cultivated its own mediation system of connecting businesses with consumers.
the "nearby" link will surface top local offers from Groupon,
Restaurant.com, LivingSocial and about 200 other daily coupon sites aggregated
by The Dealmap, which covers 200,000 offers in over 14,000 U.S. cities and
effort, geared to boost Bing's usability quotient to help the search engine
grow beyond its current 13 percent market share, is the latest of many that
have followed Groupon in offering local coupons for users.
One of the
more high-profile followers has been Google. Shortly after Groupon spurned a $6
from Google to take a $1 billion
investment, the search engine acknowledged it is testing
Google Offers, a prepaid deals program
that leverages its large base of local business advertisers.
Yahoo has also
gotten in on the deal-making fest, offering
Yahoo Local in limited beta for desktop
computers and Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones. Like Bing deals,
Yahoo Local aggregates deals from Groupon and other local purveyors.
Not to be
outdone, Facebook Deals
lets users finds local deals from
participating businesses via the social network's Places mobile check-in
service. In that vein, Facebook's use case hews more closely to Foursquare's
mobile commerce mechanics.
Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Foursquare all have in common is that
they are trying to tap into the multibillion-dollar market Groupon has carved
analysts said U.S. consumer spending on deal-a-day offers will grow from $873
million in 2010 to at least $3.9 billion and as much as $6.1 billion by 2015,
accounting for certain variables.
day has experienced incredible growth during its three-year incubation period
beginning in 2008," said BIA/Kelsey analyst Mark Fratrik. "We expect
this to continue as companies in the space are rapidly adding markets and
increasing total user count."
noted Groupon, Living Socials and the upstarts are targeting "hyperlocal"
segments, or subdividing existing metros to provide deals closer to where users
live. This will help countermand any "drop-off that may occur due to
consumer fatigue as the novelty of the form fades."
But it's clear
from their investments that Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and others aren't treating
the trail Groupon blazed as novelty.