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Exclusive Data: Groupon Unscathed By Super Bowl Fallout

  |  February 18, 2011   |  Comments

New Hitwise stats show the group-buying brand is on the rebound after a tough January against LivingSocial.

Traffic data from Hitwise suggests Groupon's much-maligned Super Bowl ads have failed to hurt or help the group-buying platform in its battle with LivingSocial. The San Francisco-based research firm gave ClickZ an exclusive look at last week's traffic numbers for the group-buying niche's top players.

As the chart below indicates, Groupon had been hemorrhaging traffic to LivingSocial for weeks leading up to the days before the Super Bowl. The Chicago-based group-buying platform lost nearly 23 percentage points of market share, while LivingSocial gained 14. Part of each brand's respective skid and rise had to do with LivingSocial's mid-January $20-for-$10 Amazon deal, which sold 1,301,296 vouchers.

But for the week ending Feb. 5, Groupon grabbed back 7 percentage points from LivingSocial. And while last week Groupon (7.7 million unique visitors) dipped by 1.5 percentage points as people complained about its TV spots, its Washington, DC-based competitor (1.9 million) experienced a similar slip.

Group-Buying Sites Square Off
Weekly Share of Traffic 
Site 2/12/11 2/5/11 1/29/11 1/22/11
1/15/11 1/8/11 1/1/11 12/25/10 12/18/10
Groupon 66% 67% 59% 60% 74% 78% 77% 79% 82%
LivingSocial 16% 18% 25% 30% 17% 15% 15% 13% 11%
KGB Deals
7% 6% 5% 3% 3% 1% 1% 1% 1%
DealFind 3% 2% 2% 1% 0.4% 0.3% 0.5% 0.2% 0.2%
DealPop 2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3%
Source: Hitwise 2010/2011

So it appears Groupon was not knocked off its axis after airing its offending spots. A record-breaking audience of 111 million Super Bowl viewers watched the commercials, including one that began by spotlighting the troubles of people in Tibet before taking a crass turn half-way through. The public brouhaha about those ads led CEO Andrew Mason to author two blogs last week, with the last entry announcing the TV spots had been shelved.

Meanwhile, Hitwise's data reveals that KGB Deals has increased its market share by nearly 7X in less than two months. DealFind and the White Pages' DealPop platform are also making progress in the burgeoning daily deals space.


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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