Via Greg Sterling’s Screenwerk blog I discovered The DealMap which collects data on daily offers largely from daily offer sites like Groupon and Keynoir. It then makes these deals available in a daily email, via a heatmp, and soon via mobile apps (global and London heatmap’s below – and I note with sadness that there are no offers near my home in N5 :-().
I have been watching the success of Groupon and the emergence of multiple clones in Europe with interest. I often get asked about how I think it will shake out, and whilst I think that the daily deal model is of value to both consumers and merchants my fear in Europe is that competition may put margins under undue pressure. Given our current later stage investment strategy we haven’t made any investments in this sector, but that could well change if a leader emerges who is making the model work.
My concern around margins has had two aspects – firstly that competition will drive up the cost of acquiring subscribers to email lists and secondly that having a choice of daily deal sites will prompt suppliers to try and cut the margin they give to the site in return for providing customers (I think Groupon takes 40-50%).
If sites like DealMap gain traction then I imagine they will start looking for a piece of the action, putting further pressure on margins.
Update: I’ve heard from Keynoir that they block crawlers from accessing their deals and hence they won’t appear on DealMap. I don’t know how this pans out across the sector, but if all the major daily deal sites block DealMap then clearly they won’t have much of an impact on margins, or anything else.