I like groupon, quite a bit in fact. I use it a couple times a month. It has some great deals.
And that’s why Groupon is screwed. The simplicity that makes these daily deals sites so great (I bought $80 of wine for $40 on a chair lift while snowboarding, WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE) also homogenizes them.
Daily deals websites aren’t like others on the interenet. You’re not using their service because you NEED it. Or because it does something others don’t. Nor are you signing up for them because your internet social circle exists there. You’re just trying to score some sweet deals on cool stuff.
When each deals site offers the same stuff and provides a half-decent user experience, there’s no reason for customer loyalty to one as opposed to another.
Groupon did it first. I think (right now) they’re doing it best. I think the success they’re enjoying is deserved. However, it’s fleeting. Other deals sites will grow, Groupon’s momentum will slow, and in 3 years they’ll be out of business or wishing they’d accepted Google’s $6 billion. Or both.