Bill Tancer, General Manager, Global Research at Hitwise, posted some interesting data today about LivingSocial and the Adoption Curve.
With Google rumored to be offering $6 billion for category leader Groupon, and The Washington Post reporting that LivingSocial is expected to get $150 million investment from Amazon, Tancer says, "Of course the question we're all asking is whether social buying is the next big play in our 2.0 world or is it tulipesque hysteria."
So, what does the data tell him?
First, Groupon.com received 79 percent of US visits last week out of 81 Group Buying sites and Living Social received 8 percent. This means LivingSocial's market-share is almost an order of magnitude lower than Groupon's.
Tancer also looked at Groupon and LivingSocial's audience composition.
He says, "The main difference between the two audiences, is that Groupon has clearly 'crossed the chasm' in Geoffrey Moore speak, with strong showings in types like Mosaic type C02 - Prime Middle America. Probably the most interesting difference is the percentage of Young Cosmopolitans - type H01 that are frequenting LivingSocial."
He adds, "From prior analysis we know that Young Cosmos are one the strongest early adopter segments. Despite the very unimpressive traffic numbers, perhaps Amazon is recognizing the potential for LivingSocial to move beyond its current early adopter phase."
What does this mean to marketers? As the finance folks like to say, "Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results." In other words, the group coupon site category could still be a horse race.