It seems like Groupon and other online daily deal companies, like Living Social, were the clever new kids on the e-commerce block when they surfaced around 2008, connecting businesses with consumers through promotional deals.
By 2011, Groupon was taking off — it became the fastest growing web-based IPO since Google. Today you can find a variety of deals in addition to restaurant and travel offers, such as fitness promos, retail products, and a host of other services.
Despite some recent market volatility, Groupon still leads the online daily deal marketplace. The question is, where do daily deals — and specifically Groupon itself — fit into the life of today’s consumers?
In an online poll of more than 1,800 U.S. adults, CivicScience looked at Groupon favorability and past usage. It found that about one-third of respondents were favorable to Groupon, including those who had used it and those who had not used it but planned to.
Specifically, one-quarter of respondents said they used Groupon in the past and liked it, while nearly half of adults said they hadn’t used it and weren’t interested in doing so.
In terms of usage, the study found that 33% of respondents had used Groupon at some point in the past.
When asked when they last purchased a deal through the site, data show that the most popular response (among Groupon users) was “over a year ago.” A total of 11% of respondents made a purchase in the last six months, while 5% had purchased a deal in the last month alone.
Broadly, what that looks like in terms of Groupon users is this: nearly half of Groupon users surveyed had not been active on the site for more than a year, while 34% had made a purchase sometime in the last six months.
So who is the typical Groupon user? Let’s explore.
Women are More Likely to Groupon
Women lead here, making up more than half of those who have used Groupon in the past and like the service. However, that’s not to discount that a sizable population of past users favorable to the brand are men.
But, looking ahead, nearly three-quarters of potential users are women. The study also shows that women have made more Groupon purchases than men within the last six months.
Groupon Appeals Less to Young Adults Today, But They Use It More
When it comes to age, the sweet spot for prior usage and favorability is within the 30- to 44-year-old age range. Younger adults ages 18-29 mirror middle-age adults ages 45-64 with past usage and interest in Groupon, while to seniors, the service is nearly irrelevant:
Typical generational divisions (e.g., Millennials, 25-34) aren’t very meaningful here. Use habits / favorability patterns are more similar between the age groups shown above.
This makes sense when you consider Groupon’s history. The website gained considerable traction around 2010, roughly ten years ago, which would place today’s 30-44 year-olds between the ages of 20 and 34. Most likely, Groupon appealed to a more tech-savvy cohort of these young adults, wielding early generations of smartphones, tablets and MacBooks, while also struggling to gain their footing at the start of the recession.
In fact, we see the most pronounced past usage / favorability particularly with today’s 30- to 34-year-old population; nearly 40% have used Groupon and like it. In other words, upon entering the marketplace, Groupon was able to capture a significant portion of the young adult population at the time as the cool new thing.
However, are they still avid users today?
Despite lower overall usage, 18- to 29-year-olds who use Groupon may be using it more frequently than older adults: 19% purchased a deal sometime within the last month, compared to 11% of 30- to 44-year-olds.
Groupon Users are More Tech-Savvy
The study indicates that Groupon users are indeed more tech-savvy across the board.
For one, they do more with their mobile devices, including banking. Compared to unfavorable non-users, data show that those who have used Groupon in the past and like it are more than twice as likely to use a mobile device for retail banking.
Other findings from the study show that favorable Groupon users are more likely to shop more online than in stores, own a wearable fitness tracker, and say they are addicted to their digital devices.
Grouponers are Bigger Risk-Takers, Spenders, and Couponers
The study shows that favorable Groupon users are more likely to take risks and spend money. For example, they are significantly more likely to say they try new products before other people do:
Compared to unfavorable non-users, favorable Groupon users are also more likely to value traveling for pleasure, spend money on salon and spa experiences when splurging on themselves, and try new foods before others do.
That said, the study also shows that income plays a role in Groupon favorability. The more money you make, the more likely you are to have used Groupon in the past and like it. A significant chunk (40%) of favorable Groupon users earn $100K or above per year.
At the same time, the study shows that favorable Groupon users also tend to be bigger couponers in general. Half say that they often use coupons while shopping for items other than food/groceries:
Groupon Users Favor Amazon and Target
When it comes to shopping habits, CivicScience looked at Amazon, Target, and Walmart in relation to favorable Groupon users. Target shoppers were the most likely to have used Groupon in the past and like it, with Amazon shoppers coming in right behind.
Groupon appealed the least to Walmart shoppers.
The picture of the favorable Groupon user that emerges is that of a tech-savvy, risk-taking consumer who values experiences, such as travel, pampering, and trying new restaurants. While they may be willing to spend more money, they are still deal-seekers. Whether or not they continue to use Groupon, the service appealed to this niche audience at some point.
Perhaps Groupon can remain relevant to the 30- to 44-year-old crowd as they grow older, while gaining ground with a potentially more promising younger adult population.